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Second Chorus

Second Chorus(1940)

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Although Fred Astaire is listed as associate producer in all pre-production credits and on the release dialogue script in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library, and a Paramount production information sheet noted that Astaire had acquired a financial interest in the film and assisted on it, only Robert Stillman is listed as associate producer onscreen. Other items in the Paramount Collection indicate that prior to the press preview, Paramount re-cut the film. While Paramount records do not indicate how many scenes were cut, they do indicate that a dance sequence featuring choreographer Hermes Pan and the song "Me and the Ghost Upstairs," composed by Bernard Hanighen and Johnny Mercer, was cut from the film prior to its national release. The college scenes were shot at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA.
       This was the first film produced for Paramount by Boris Morros, formerly the head of Paramount's music department. Modern sources add the following music credits: musician Bobby Hackett doubled on trumpet for Fred Astaire, Billy Butterfield doubled for Burgess Meredith, and Perry Botkin was the instrumentalist on "Dig It" and "Poor Mr. Chisolm." Modern sources add that choreographer Hermes Pan appears in the film as a musician with the college band. According to his autobiography, Astaire agreed to appear in the film because he wanted to work with Artie Shaw and his swing band. In an interview dated approximately 25 years after its release, Astaire called this the worst film he ever made. According to modern sources, the script, which originally included no dance numbers, was rewritten for Astaire after filming had already begun. Paulette Goddard noted in her autobiography that she spent many hours training for her dance sequence with Astaire and then shot the number in one take. Shaw received an Academy Award nomination in the Music (Scoring) category, and he and Johnny Mercer's song "Would You Like to Be the Love of My Life" was also nominated for an Oscar.