Juggling in Movies

Song of the Open Road (1944)

[Edgar Bergen, Bonita Granville, W.C. Fields, Sammy Kaye, Jane Powell]

Child film star Jane Powell, fed up with her every move being stage managed by her stage mother, runs away and joins the U.S. Crop Corps, a small army of young folks staying at youth hostels and picking crops while adult farm workers are at war. Totally clueless about the real world, befuddled Jane is embroiled in teenage romance complications while Mother frantically searches. Will her stardom help or hinder her new friends?

W.C. Fields appears for about 2 minutes near the end of this film, and does a short act with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Fields, not far from death, is on hand to pick up a paycheck to pay liquor and sanitarium bills. Nonetheless, he is in fine voice, rehashing a few radio quip exchanges with Bergen and McCarthy, and later juggles briefly with 3 oranges. The sight and sound of Fields, a notorious wartime food hoarder, making a patriotic appeal to feed the troops is amusingly ironic.

Song of the Open Road / Juggling in Movies / movies@juggling.org
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