Thank Your Lucky Stars (film)

Thank Your Lucky Stars is a 1943 American musical comedy film made by Warner Brothers as a World War II fundraiser, with a slim plot, involving theater producers. The stars donated their salaries to the Hollywood Canteen, which was founded by John Garfield and Bette Davis, who appear in this film.[3] It was directed by David Butler and stars Eddie Cantor, Dennis Morgan, Joan Leslie, Edward Everett Horton and S. Z. Sakall.[4][5]

Thank Your Lucky Stars
theatrical poster
Directed byDavid Butler
Produced byMark Hellinger
Written byNorman Panama
Melvin Frank
StarringEddie Cantor
Joan Leslie
Dennis Morgan
Music byHeinz Roemheld
CinematographyArthur Edeson
Edited byIrene Morra
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • September 25, 1943 (1943-09-25)
Running time
124 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,621,000[1]
$2.8 million (US rentals)[2]


Theater producers (Horton and Sakall) try to stage a wartime charity program, only to have the production taken over by their egotistical star (Eddie Cantor). Meanwhile, an aspiring singer (Dennis Morgan) and his songwriter girlfriend (Joan Leslie) conspire to get into the charity program by replacing Cantor with their look-alike friend, tour bus driver Joe Simpson (also played by Eddie Cantor).

Many of Warner Brothers's stars performed in musical numbers, including several who were not known as singers. The show features the only screen musical numbers ever done by Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, and Ida Lupino.


Cameo appearances

Musical numbers

  • "Thank Your Lucky Stars" sung by Dinah Shore
  • "Ridin' for a Fall" sung by Dennis Morgan and Joan Leslie (dubbed by Sally Sweetland)
  • "Hotcha Cornia" performed by Spike Jones & His City Slickers
  • "We're Staying Home Tonight" sung by Eddie Cantor
  • "I'm Goin' North" sung by Jack Carson and Alan Hale, Sr.
  • "Love Isn't Born (It's Made)" sung by Ann Sheridan
  • "No You, No Me" sung by Dennis Morgan and Joan Leslie (dubbed by Sally Sweetland)
  • "The Dreamer" sung by Dinah Shore
  • "Ice Cold Katie" performed by Hattie McDaniel and Willie Best
  • "How Sweet You Are" sung by Dinah Shore
  • "That's What You Jolly Well Get" sung by Errol Flynn
  • "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" sung by Bette Davis, including a brief jitterbug performance by Davis and dance contest winner Conrad Weidel. Written by Frank Loesser and Arthur Schwartz[3]
  • "The Dreamer" reprise sung by Olivia de Havilland, Ida Lupino and George Tobias (Olivia de Havilland dubbed by Lynn Martin)[3]
  • "Good Night, Good Neighbor" sung by Dennis Morgan with an accompanying dance by Alexis Smith
  • Final Medley with brief reprises of
    • "We're Staying Home Tonight" (Eddie Cantor)
    • "How Sweet You Are" (chorus girls)
    • "I'm Goin' North" (Jack Carson and Alan Hale, Sr.)
    • "The Dreamer" (Dinah Shore and Olivia de Havilland, Ida Lupino and George Tobias)
    • "Ridin' For a Fall" (Dennis Morgan and Joan Leslie)
    • "Love Isn't Born (It's Made)" (Ann Sheridan)
    • "That's What You Jolly Well Get" (Errol Flynn)
    • "Good Night, Good Neighbor" (Dennis Morgan)
    • "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" (Bette Davis)
    • "Ice Cold Katie" (Hattie McDaniel and Eddie Cantor)
    • "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (ensemble)


Filming for Thank Your Lucky Stars started 1 October 1942.[6] Producer Mark Hellinger and director David Butler both made cameo appearances in the film.[7] The film utilized sets which had been built for the Warner Bros. films The Green Pastures and Wonder Bar.[7] Thank Your Lucky Stars was the film debut of both Dinah Shore and Spike Jones and his City Slickers.[7] Each of the cast members was paid a $50,000 fee for their appearance which was then donated to the Hollywood Canteen.[8]


Thank Your Lucky Stars was popular with audiences, and the critic James Agee called it "the loudest and most vulgar of the current musicals. It is also the most fun."[9] Ticket sales combined with the donated salaries of the performers raised more than two million dollars for the Hollywood Canteen.[10]

Box office

The film earned $2,503,000 domestically and $1,118,000 foreign.[1]

Awards and honors

The song "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" by Arthur Schwartz (music) and Frank Loesser (lyrics) was nominated for an Academy Award for "Best Music, Original Song", but lost to "You'll Never Know" by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon from the film, Hello, Frisco, Hello. The song was also a number one hit on Your Hit Parade. [3]


  1. Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 25 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. "Top Grossers of the Season", Variety, 5 January 1944 p 54
  3. Landazuri, Margaret. "Articles: Thank Your Lucky Stars"." Turner Classic Movies ( Retrieved: January 26, 2015.
  4. Film review: 'Thank Your Lucky Stars'." Variety, August 18, 1943, p. 10.
  5. Film review: 'Thank Your Lucky Stars'." Harrison's Reports , August 21, 1943, p. 136.
  6. The New York Times, August 29, 1942, p. 18.
  7. "Notes: Thank Your Lucky Stars." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: January 26, 2015.
  8. Spada 1993, p. 194.
  9. Ringgold and Quirk 1966, p. 123.
  10. Spada 1993, p. 195.


  • Ringgold, Gene and Lawrence J. Quirk. The Films of Bette Davis. New York: Cadillac Publishing Co., 1966. ISBN 978-0-8065-1177-1.
  • Spada, James. More Than a Woman. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1993. ISBN 978-0-7515-0940-3.
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