Ronald Reagan Appears in "It's a Great Feeling"
It's a Great Feeling (1949) is a Warner Bros.
feature film starring Doris Day, Jack Carson, and Dennis Morgan in a spoof of what goes on behind-the-scenes in Hollywood movie-making. The screenplay by Jack Rose and Melville Shavelson was based upon a story by I.A.L. Diamond. The film was directed by David Butler and produced by Alex Gottlieb. It's a Great Feeling was Day's third film (and her third pairing with Carson) and the first to bring her widespread notice. The film was a "Who's Who?" of Hollywood in its heyday and glorified the studio system at the peak of its golden age.
Plot and cast
The film begins with a succession of real-life film directors - including Michael Curtiz, King Vidor, and Raoul Walsh - refusing to helm a new Warners flick, Mademoiselle Fifi, because Jack Carson has been signed to star in it. Frustrated, fictional studio head Arthur Trent (Bill Goodwin) finally decides to let Carson direct it. Seeking the perfect co-star for himself and fellow lead Dennis Morgan, Carson finds her in the person of studio commissary waitress Judy Adams (Doris Day), who he dresses in a number of different guises (such as an elevator operator and a cab driver) in the hope Trent will see her, appreciate her potential, and insist Carson cast the unknown. Unfortunately, all Trent keeps seeing is a pretty blonde with a goofy smile and blinking eyes. Carson and Morgan finally conspire to disguise her as a famous French film star with dark hair (and a bad accent), but Trent still manages to recognize her. Upset with all the backstage shenanigans she's been forced to endure, Judy returns home to Gurkee's Corner, Wisconsin to marry long-time sweetheart Jeffrey Bushdinkle.
Many of the studio's most popular stars make cameo appearances throughout the movie. Among them are Errol Flynn (as Judy's groom), Gary Cooper, Joan Crawford, Edward G. Robinson, Sydney Greenstreet, Ray Heindorf, Danny Kaye, Eleanor Parker, Patricia Neal, Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman, and even Bugs Bunny (voice of Mel Blanc) and Tweety Bird. Others in the cast include Lois Austin as Saleslady, Irving Bacon as Railroad Information Clerk, Frank Cady as Oculist, Sandra Gould as Train Passenger in Upper Berth, James Holden as Soda Jerk, William J. O'Brien as Reporter, Georges Renavent as Andre Bernet, and Olan Soule as Flack.
Doris Day solos for "At the Cafe Rendezvous", "That Was a Big Fat Lie", and "Blame My Absent-Minded Heart" while Jack Carson warbles "Fiddle Dee Dee" and Dennis Morgan renders "Give Me a Song with a Beautiful Melody". The three join vocal forces for "There's Nothing Rougher than Love". Other tunes include the title number, "It's a Great Feeling".
Variety noted, "Joan Crawford does a pip of a bit in a swank gown shop with the three principals, rating plenty of howls...The guests are brought into the story naturally and this lack of forced use is an aid in spinning the pace along and spotting unexpected comedy."
Awards and nominations
The title tune "It's a Great Feeling" (written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn), received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song.
Movie producer Arthur Trent asks directors Raoul Walsh, King Vidor, Michael Curtiz and David Butler to direct his new film, Mlle. Fifi , which is to star Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson, and all turn him down because they do not want to work with the egotistical Jack. In desperation, Trent gives Jack the directorial assignment.