The Law of Contact

Second Chorus (December 3, 1940)

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Fred Astaire, Burgess Meredith and Paulette Goddard in Second Chorus
 

Released on December 3, 1940: (running time 1 hour and 24 minutes) When their college band singer, Paulette Goddard, is snatched away by the Artie Shaw Orchestra, buddies Fred Astaire and Burgess Meredith try to join the band, to be near her.

Produced by Boris Morros and Fred Astaire

Directed by H.C. Potter

The Actors: Fred Astaire (Danny O'Neill), Paulette Goddard (Ellen Miller), Artie Shaw (himself, orchestra leader), Charles Butterworth (Mr. Chisolm), Burgess Meredith (Hank Taylor), Frank Melton (Stu), Jimmy Conlin (Mr. Dunn), Don Brodie (Clerk), Marjorie Kane (secretary), Joan Barclay (receptionist), Willa Pearl Curtis (scrubwoman), Phil Arnold (Shaw's first manager), Bobby Barber (room service waiter), Bus Bassey (Artie Shaw Orchestra tenor sax player), William 'Billy' Benedict (ticket taker), Vernon Brown (Artie Shaw Orchestra trombone player), Billy Butterfield (Artie Shaw Orchestra trumpet player), Romaine Callender (waiter), Jack Cathcart (Artie Shaw Orchestra trumpet player), Heinie Conklin (reporter), Gordon De Main (elevator passenger), Jud De Naut (Artie Shaw Orchestra bass player), Nick Fatool (Artie Shaw Orchestra drummer), Jack Gordon (stagehand), Johnny Guarnieri (Artie Shaw Orchestra piano player), Ben Hall (Western Union boy), Alton Hendrickson (Artie Shaw Orchestra guitar player), Jack Jenney (Artie Shaw Orchestra trombone player), Jerry Jerome (Artie Shaw Orchestra tenor sax player), Adia Kuznetzoff (Boris), Lillian Lawrence (spinster), Alexander Leftwich (elevator passenger), Ben Lessy (Shaw's second manager), Joseph Marievsky (Ivan), Charles R. Moore (Sam, elevator operator), Buddy Morrow (Artie Shaw Orchestra musician), Spec O'Donnell (disappointed fan at stage door), Hermes Pan (college clarinetist), Neely Plumb (Artie Shaw Orchestra alto sax player), Albert Pollet (waiter), June Preston (little blonde girl dancing), Fred Rapport (headwaiter), Les Robinson (Artie Shaw Orchestra alto sax player), Charles Smith (college boy with zinc oxide on his nose), Mary Stewart (dancer, singer), Leonard Sues (Artie Shaw Orchestra trumpet player), Edward Thomas (waiter), Michael Visaroff (Sergei), George Wendt (Artie Shaw Orchestra trumpet player), Poppy Wilde (night club patron), Allen Wood (messenger)

 

The Law of Contact

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“Benny Goodman played Clarinet. I played Music.”

Quiz: What do Jane Cairns, Margaret Allen, Lana Turner, Betty Jane Kern, Ave Gardner, Kathleen Winsor, Doris Dowling, and Evelyn Keyes all have in common? Hint: Bandleader Artie Shaw, the ‘King of the Clarinet’ once said, “You have no idea of the women I didn’t marry.” Besides having eight wives, he is rumored to have dated Judy Garland and Lena Horne.

Artie Shaw seems to have always become easily bored and dissatisfied with that he had, always going after the next woman or the next career. During the era of big band swing music, his fame was only equaled by that of the Benny Goodman Orchestra. But as much as his fans loved him, dancing happily to his jazzy music with a swing beat, he quickly became restless and wanted to do something else, anything other than playing popular music.

Two years before making this movie, Artie Shaw’s orchestra played a Cole Porter song titled, “Begin the Beguine,” and it became the smash hit of the world, catapulting the Artie Shaw Orchestra to the top. Quickly becoming bored, he broke up the band and went to Mexico to discover a new adventure.

After spending some time in Mexico, Artie Shaw went to Hollywood, and after performing in a couple of musical shorts, he was hired to make this movie. It was so popular that he once again assembled a band and went on the road, but soon got restless again and disbanded the group. Then, America entered World War Two, and while Benny Goodman was entertaining troops in England and Europe, Artie Shaw assembled a band and entertained the troops in the Pacific.

The bigger his fame for popular music, the more restless he was to do something different. Between periods of leading one of the most famous swing bands in history, he became an author and movie producer. Unfortunately for him, but wonderfully for his audiences, he always returned to what the world wanted most from him – Amazing, swinging, toe-tapping music. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw and Paulette Goddard
Artie Shaw and Paulette Goddard
Artie Shaw, Phil Arnold, Ben Lessy
Artie Shaw, Phil Arnold, Ben Lessy
Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw
Artie Shaw
Burgess Meredith
Burgess Meredith
Burgess Meredith, Fred Astaire
Burgess Meredith, Fred Astaire
Burgess Meredith, Fred Astaire
Burgess Meredith, Fred Astaire
Charles Butterworth
Charles Butterworth
Charles Butterworth
Charles Butterworth
Charles R. Moore, Fred Astaire, Burgess Meredith
Charles R. Moore, Fred Astaire, Burgess Meredith
Don Brodie
Don Brodie
Frank Melton
Frank Melton
Frank Melton, Paulette Goddard
Frank Melton, Paulette Goddard
Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
William 'Billy' Benedict, Artie Shaw
William 'Billy' Benedict, Artie Shaw
Fred Astaire, Burgess Meredith
Fred Astaire, Burgess Meredith
Fred Astaire, Charles Butterworth
Fred Astaire, Charles Butterworth
Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
Jimmy Conlin
Jimmy Conlin
Nick Fatool, Artie Shaw
Nick Fatool, Artie Shaw
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard, Artie Shaw
Paulette Goddard, Artie Shaw
Paulette Goddard, Charles Butterworth
Paulette Goddard, Charles Butterworth
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard
Paulette Goddard