Gaily, Gaily

Gaily, Gaily (released in the United Kingdom as Chicago, Chicago) is a 1969 American comedy film directed by Norman Jewison.[3] It is based on the autobiographical novel by Ben Hecht and stars Beau Bridges, Brian Keith, George Kennedy, Hume Cronyn and Melina Mercouri.

Gaily, Gaily
Gaily, Gaily
Film poster
Directed byNorman Jewison
Produced byNorman Jewison
Screenplay byAbram S. Ginnes
Based onnovel by
Ben Hecht
StarringBeau Bridges
Brian Keith
George Kennedy
Hume Cronyn
Melina Mercouri
Music byHenry Mancini
CinematographyRichard H. Kline
Edited byByron W. Brandt
Ralph E. Winters
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • December 16, 1969
(New York City)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$9 million[1][2]
Box office$1 million (domestic rentals)[1]


Set in 1910, the film's main character is Ben Harvey (patterned after Ben Hecht): serious about seeing the world, he leaves his home for Chicago, where he meets a woman named Lil, who in reality is the madam of the bordello Ben mistakes for a boarding house. He also is friendly with Adeline, one of the prostitutes. While he tries to find work, Ben encounters other people, including a hard drinking reporter named Sullivan, plus two other men, Grogan and Johanson, who are involved in shady doings in city government. Suspecting corruption, both Harvey and Sullivan decide to investigate.



The film currently holds a score of 60% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 5 reviews.[4]

Vincent Canby of The New York Times called it "a movie of great and exuberant charm, one that pays homage to the classic conventions of American farce by defining them with nostalgia and cinematic wit."[5] Variety declared it "a lushly staged, handsomely produced, largely unfunny comedy. There are a few bright spots, and a certain segment of the audience may find the film amusing, naughty and risque."[6] Pauline Kael of The New Yorker wrote, "A good subject, a charming plot, and not too bad a script (by Abram S. Ginnes) have been lost along the way in this overproduced period re-creation that is only moderately entertaining. The director, Norman Jewison, tries hard, but he just doesn't have the feeling for Hecht's Chicago; he uses huge mobs and big locations, but the whole movie seems to be on a musical-comedy stage."[7] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film three stars out of four and wrote that it "is paled by Hecht's writings, but it stands well ahead of many films, as fine entertainment that will have you laughing."[8] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times called it "a delightful comedy" with "most persuasive" performances.[9] Gary Arnold of The Washington Post wrote, "By all rights, the material should be great on film, but Jewison, stymied by either a lack of wit or a desire to be too ingratiating, gets the least interesting effect possible. This 'Gaily, Gaily' is a bumptious family comedy rather than the uninhibited but poignant elegy to youth and recreation of a vanished era that Hecht had in mind."[10] David Pirie of The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote, "The script here is a fairly predictable period romp, based loosely on Ben Hecht's novel and only very sporadically funny. Even more disappointing, despite a reasonably distnguished cast and Jewison's proven ability with actors, is that there is barely only one really enjoyable performance in the whole film: only Brian Keith, as a shamelessly unscrupulous and sentimental Irish newsman, is fully successful, and he provides nearly all the film's best comedy."[11]


The film was nominated for three Academy Awards:[12][13]


  1. ^ a b Solomon, Aubrey (1989). Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, p. 162, ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1.
  2. ^ Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, University of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p. 193
  3. ^ "Gaily, Gaily". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "Gaily, Gaily". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
  5. ^ Canby, Vincent (December 17, 1969). "Screen: Nostalgia Warms 'Gaily, Gaily'". The New York Times. 62.
  6. ^ "Film Reviews: Gaily, Gaily". Variety. December 3, 1969. 3.
  7. ^ Kael, Pauline (December 20, 1969). "The Current Cinema". The New Yorker. 70.
  8. ^ Siskel, Gene (January 30, 1970). "'Gaily, Gaily': a bawdy comedy — but not a lesson in history". Chicago Tribune. Section 2, p. 13.
  9. ^ Thomas, Kevin (December 16, 1969). "'Gaily, Gaily' Joins Comedy With Nostalgia". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 1, 24.
  10. ^ Arnold, Gary (February 24, 1970). "'Gaily, Gaily': Corny, Corny". The Washington Post. B10.
  11. ^ Pirie, David (April 1970). "Chicago, Chicago". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 37 (435): 71.
  12. ^ "The 42nd Academy Awards (1970) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  13. ^ "NY Times: Gaily, Gaily". NY Times. Retrieved December 27, 2008.

External links

42nd Academy Awards

The 42nd Academy Awards were presented April 7, 1970, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. For the second year in a row, there was no official host. Awards were presented by seventeen "Friends of Oscar": Bob Hope, John Wayne, Barbra Streisand, Fred Astaire, Jon Voight, Myrna Loy, Clint Eastwood, Raquel Welch, Candice Bergen, James Earl Jones, Katharine Ross, Cliff Robertson, Ali MacGraw, Barbara McNair, Elliott Gould, Claudia Cardinale, and Elizabeth Taylor. This was the first Academy Awards ceremony to be broadcast via satellite to an international audience, but only outside North America. Mexico and Brazil were the sole countries to broadcast the event live.This is currently the highest rated of the televised Academy Awards ceremonies, according to Nielsen ratings. The record, as of 2017, remains unbroken thanks to the emergence of the Super Bowl as the biggest annual event of awards season.

Midnight Cowboy became the first – and so far, the only – X-rated film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Its rating has since been downgraded to R. The previous year had seen the only G-rated film to win Best Picture, Carol Reed's Oliver!.

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? set an Oscar record by receiving nine nominations without one for Best Picture.

This was the last time until the 68th Academy Awards wherein none of the four acting winners had appeared in Best Picture nominees, as well as the first time where every acting nomination, as well as every major nominated film, was in color.

Carl Biddiscombe

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Charles Tyner

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Claudia Bryar

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Clem Portman

Clem Portman (March 1, 1905 – October 21, 1992) was an American sound engineer. He was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Sound Recording for the film Gaily, Gaily. He worked on over 200 films between 1930 and 1970.

Cliff Emmich

Clifford "Cliff" Emmich (born December 13, 1936) is an American television and film actor. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

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Edward G. Boyle

The career of set decorator Edward G. Boyle (30 January 1899 – 17 February 1977) kicked off in the early 1930s, when he started working on the first of over 100 films. His successful filmography includes such credits as an uncredited assist on the wartorn old South in Victor Fleming's classic Gone with the Wind (1939), the Nazi-influenced designs for Charlie Chaplin's fictional country of Tomania in The Great Dictator (1940), the gritty boxing world in Robert Rossen's Body and Soul (1947) and Mark Robson's Champion (1949), an elegant Bournemouth seaside hotel in Separate Tables (1958), island life at the turn of the century in George Roy Hill's Hawaii (1966) and the sophisticated demi-monde of the multi-millionaire lifestyles in Norman Jewison's The Thomas Crown Affair (1968).

Winner of the Academy Award in 1960 for Billy Wilder's The Apartment, Boyle was nominated six other times: for The Son of Monte Cristo in 1940, Some Like It Hot in 1959, The Children's Hour in 1961, Seven Days in May in 1964, The Fortune Cookie in 1966 and Gaily Gaily in 1969.

Eric Shea

Eric Shea (born February 14, 1960), is an American actor. A professional child actor, active from age six through seventeen, he is best known for his roles in the blockbuster feature films Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972), as well as his numerous guest-starring appearances throughout the 1960s and 1970s on such popular television series as Batman, Gunsmoke, The Flying Nun, Nanny and the Professor, The Brady Bunch, and Little House on the Prairie, among others.

Shea's brothers Christopher and Stephen both voiced Linus van Pelt for the Peanuts TV animation specials in the 1960s and 1970s, respectively.

George B. Chan

George B. Chan (November 5, 1921 – March 27, 1998) was an American art director. He was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Art Direction for the film Gaily, Gaily.

James Richard

James A. Richard (April 29, 1928 – October 25, 2002) was a sound editor.

He was nominated for a Best Sound Editing at the 1967 Academy Awards for In the Heat of the Night. He also did sound editing on a few episodes of Honey West and Fury. He died in 2002.

List of Iranian Academy Award winners and nominees

This is a list of Iranian Academy Award winners and nominees. This list details the performances of Iranian filmmakers, actors, actresses and films that have either been submitted, nominated or have won an Academy Award.

Margot Kidder filmography

The filmography of actress Margot Kidder includes over 100 credits in film and television, and spans a total of 50 years. Kidder began her career in her native Canada appearing in small independent films and on Canadian television series, before being cast opposite Beau Bridges in the period comedy Gaily, Gaily (1969). She subsequently starred opposite Gene Wilder in Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970), followed by a dual lead role in Brian De Palma's cult thriller film Sisters (1972), and a supporting part in the slasher film Black Christmas (1974). The following year, she co-starred with Robert Redford in the drama The Great Waldo Pepper.

Kidder came to mainstream recognition for her iconic role as Lois Lane in Richard Donner's Superman (1978); she would go on to reprise the role in the film's following three sequels. She garnered additional mainstream recognition for her role as Kathy Lutz in the blockbuster horror film The Amityville Horror (1979).

After a highly-publicized nervous breakdown in 1996, Kidder appeared mainly in independent films throughout the 1990s and early-2000s. In 2004, she guest-starred as Bridgette Crosby on the network series Smallville, and also had guest role on the Showtime series The L Word (2006), and the ABC series Brothers & Sisters (2007). In 2014, Kidder won a Daytime Emmy Award for her appearance in R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour. Kidder died in 2018, with her final film credit being the independent Canadian film The Neighborhood (2017).

Merie Earle

Merie Earle (May 13, 1889 – November 14, 1984) was an American actress perhaps best remembered for her performance as Maude Gormley in The Waltons.

Modesty Handicap

The Modesty Handicap is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Arlington Park Racetrack in Arlington Heights, Illinois near Chicago.A Grade III race contested over a distance of ​1 3⁄16 miles on turf, it is open to fillies and mares aged three and older. Run during the middle of July, the event currently offers a purse of $125,000.Inaugurated in 1942 at the old Washington Park Race Track as a race for three-year-old fillies, the following year it was made open to both fillies and older mares. Until 1951, it was run as the Modesty Stakes. It was raced on dirt from 1942 through 1955, 1958 through 1965, and again in 1996.

It has been run at various distances:

1 mile : 1942, 1944–1946, 1952, 1966

3/4 mile (6 furlongs) : 1947-1951, 1953–1954, 1958–1962

7/8 mile (7 furlongs) : 1943, 1963–1965

​1 1⁄16 miles (8.5 furlongs) : 1955-1957, 1967–1968,1986

​1 1⁄8 miles (9 furlongs) : 1987

​1 3⁄16 miles (9.5 furlongs) : 1980-1985, 1989–presentThe race was hosted by Washington Park Race Track from 1942 through 1945 and from 1968 through 1961. Hawthorne Race Course hosted it in 1985. The race was named in honor of Modesty, a filly who beat her male counterparts to win the 1884 inaugural running of the American Derby at Washington Park Race Track under African-American U.S. Racing Hall of Fame jockey, Isaac Burns Murphy.

In 1966, the Modesty Handicap was run in two divisions.There was no race from 1969 through 1979 inclusive, nor in 1988, 1995, 1998 and 1999.

Ray Aghayan

Gorgen Ray Aghayan (July 28, 1928 – October 10, 2011) was a costume designer in the United States film industry. He won an Emmy Award in 1967 with his partner Bob Mackie for his work in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Aghayan was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design three times for his work in Gaily, Gaily in 1970, Lady Sings the Blues in 1973 and Funny Lady in 1976. He was also responsible for designing the costumes for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles. Aghayan was the lifetime partner of costume designer Bob Mackie for nearly 50 years.

Richard H. Kline

Richard Howard Kline, A.S.C. (November 15, 1926 – August 7, 2018) was an American cinematographer.

Robert Martin (audio engineer)

Robert Martin (March 31, 1916 – January 16, 1992) was an American audio engineer. He was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Sound Recording for the film Gaily, Gaily.

Weld Park Stakes

The Weld Park Stakes is a Group 3 flat horse race in Ireland open to two-year-old thoroughbred fillies. It is run at the Curragh over a distance of 7 furlongs (1,408 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in September or October.

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