Back in the Summer (1949)

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German title Back in the summer
Original title In the Good Old Summertime
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1949
length 103 minutes
Director Robert Z. Leonard ,
Buster Keaton
script Samson Raphaelson ,
Albert Hackett ,
Frances Goodrich ,
Ivan Tors ,
Buster Keaton
production Joe Pasternak
music Fred Spielman ,
George Evans ,
Betti O'Dell
George E. Stoll ,
Jimmy Wakely ,
Robert Van Eps
camera Harry Stradling Sr.
cut Adrienne Fazan

Back in the Summer (Original title: In the Good Old Summertime ) is an American , MGM- produced film musical from 1949 and directed by Robert Z. Leonard and Buster Keaton with Judy Garland and Van Johnson in the lead roles. The film was also released in German-speaking countries under the title Mit Musik ins Glück .

Back in the summer there is another adaptation of the play Parfumerie by Miklós László from 1937, which was filmed in 1940 under the title Rendezvous after the shop closes ( The Shop Around the Corner ) with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan under the direction of Ernst Lubitsch . For In the Good Old Summertime , the storyline was moved from a leather goods store in Budapest in the 1930s to a music store in Chicago in the early 20th century.


The film is set in Chicago at the beginning of the 20th century. Andrew Larkin works as the first salesman in Otto Oberkugen's music store. The cashier Nellie Burke and the salespeople Rudy Hansen and Hickey work in the store. Hickey is also Oberkugen's nephew. Andrew lives in a boarding house. One of his roommates there is violinist Louise Parkson, who is secretly in love with him.

For some time now, Andrew has been in correspondence with a young lady he does not know because of a newspaper advertisement. The two have agreed to remain anonymous for their correspondence. One morning when he leaves the post office with one of her letters, he bumps into Veronica Fisher on the steps and ruins her hair, hat and clothes in a flash. He hands her his business card and promises to pay for any damage caused.

Veronica actually appears later in the music business as she is looking for a job. She succeeds in selling a table harp, which Oberkugen and Andrew had previously argued about including it in the portfolio. Oberkugen is enthusiastic and hires Veronica. Andrew and Veronica immediately disliked each other and would argue with each other quite often over the next few years.

Shortly before Christmas, Andrew and his pen friend, who was still unknown to him, agreed to meet for the first time in a restaurant. When he has to realize that she is Veronica, he storms away in a rage. However, he comes back later, enters the restaurant and sits down next to Veronica. She is very angry because she is waiting for her pen pal and fears that Andrew might drive him away. She throws him a few insults, and Andrew leaves the restaurant.

Since her pen pal did not show up that evening, Veronica is completely depressed the next day and cannot come to work. Andrew visits her to see how she is doing. They start talking when Veronica's aunt appears with a letter from her pen pal. She reads it in the presence of Andrew and is delighted that he does not seem to blame her for Andrew's presence the night before. She declares that she will be back at the store the next day and even agrees to attend Nellie's and Oberkugen's engagement party the next evening.

The next day, before the celebration, Oberkugen gave Andrew his precious Stradivarius with the request that he take it with him to the celebration. He wants to entertain Nellie and the guests with a piece. However, Nellie fears that Oberkugen will be embarrassed because of his poor violin skills and implores Andrew not to bring the violin with him. Andrew obeys and instead gives the violin to Louise so that she can compete for a scholarship that evening.

When Oberkugen demands his Stradivarius ever more urgently at the engagement party, Andrew lets Louise give her her violin. Before Oberkugen notices the fraud, however, Hickey accidentally breaks the violin when he is supposed to take it to his uncle for foreplay. Now Andrew is forced to admit the exchange of violins. Together they pick up the Stradivarius from Louise's competition event, but not without hearing her play on the Stradivarius beforehand. Oberkugen dismisses Andrew and orders him to get his papers the next morning. In this situation - and also when she sees how warmly Andrew's supposed friend Louise thanks him for letting him have the Stradivarius - Veronica realizes that Andrew is no longer indifferent to her.

The next morning is Christmas morning and the mood in the shop is gloomy. Andrew appears and says goodbye to his colleagues. Oberkugen has now realized for himself that it was during Louise's foreplay that he heard his Stradivarius play the way it should be played for the first time and that he had no right to it. He asks Andrew to pass it on to Louise and hires him back - even as managing director, since he and Nellie want to retire from the business after the wedding. When Andrew tells Veronica about it, they get into another argument, which in the end leads to Veronica quitting.

When the shop closes that evening, Veronica and Andrew stay behind. You start a conversation through Veronica's friend. Andrew pretends to have seen him the day before because he did not believe her explanations about the meeting in the restaurant in the last letter. Andrew describes him to an increasingly stunned Veronica as fat, bald, depressed and unemployed. But when he finally confesses that he is the unknown letter writer, they kiss. The film ends with Veronica's words: “Psychologically, I am very confused, but personally I feel wonderful” (“Psychologically, I'm very confused, but personally I feel just wonderful”).

Music and dance numbers

  1. In The Good Old Summertime / Chicago - MGM Studio Orchestra during the opening credits.
  2. In The Good Old Summertime (music by George Evans, lyrics by Ren Shields) - MGM Studio Orchestra and the main characters of the film while Van Johnson introduces the storyline.
  3. Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland (music Leo Friedman, lyrics Beth Slater Whitson) - Judy Garland during her performance at Oberkugen.
  4. Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey (music by Albert von Tilzer , lyrics by Junie McCree) - Judy Garland and Van Johnson at work.
  5. Last Night When We Were Young (music Harold Arlen , lyrics Yip Harburg ) - Judy Garland after the unsuccessful date. This piece was removed from the final version of the film.
  6. Wait Till The Sun Shines Nellie (music Harry von Tilzer , lyrics Andrew Sterling (II)) - The King's Men during the engagement party.
  7. Little Brown Jug (Music Joseph Winner) - MGM Studio Orchestra during the engagement party.
  8. Play That Barbershop Chord (music Lewis F. Muir and William Tracey, lyrics Ballard MacDonald) - Judy Garland and The King's Men during the engagement party.
  9. I Don't Care (music by Harry O. Sutton, lyrics by Jean Lenox) - Judy Garland during the engagement party.
  10. Souvenir de Moscou (music by Henryk Wieniawski ) - Marcia Van Dyke as a performance piece in the competition.
  11. Merry Christmas (music by Fred Spielman, lyrics by Janice Torre) - Judy Garland after her resignation.
  12. In The Good Old Summertime - Finale.
Source: soundtrack at

In the English original, after Merry Christmas, in the following scenes (in which Oberkugen distributes premiums to his employees) the song is played again in the background in an instrumental version. In the German version, a trumpet version by Adeste fideles is played instead .

Production and Background

The working title of the film was The Girl From Chicago . The film was shot from October 1948 to January 1949. The premiere in the USA took place on July 29, 1949. The film never came into cinemas in Germany; the TV premiere took place on October 11, 1992.

The budget for the film was $ 1,563,835, which was exceeded by just $ 12,800 at $ 1,576,635.

In the course of the development of the film, different actors were planned to cast the main roles: Frank Sinatra , Gene Kelly and Peter Lawford for Andrew, Gloria DeHaven and June Allyson for Veronica.

This was Judy Garland's penultimate film for MGM.

Buster Keaton was originally only hired as a gag writer for the film. His job was to write the sequence in which Oberkugen's violin is destroyed. The result was a comical and believable process at the same time. However, the producers realized that only Keaton could play this scene himself, so they gave him a role in the film. Keaton also developed (and directed) the sequence in front of the post office in which Van Johnson accidentally destroys Judy Garland's clothes in homage to the old slapstick movies. Van Johnson was prepared intensively for this scene by Keaton. The role as Hickey was Keaton's first appearance in an MGM film since his release in 1933.

Marcia Van Dyke was a trained violinist and played all of her pieces in the film herself.

For the then three-year-old Liza Minnelli, who appears at the end of the film as the daughter of the characters portrayed by Judy Garland and Van Johnson, it was her first film appearance.


The film was a huge commercial success. According to the Mannix file , he grossed $ 2,892,000 in the United States and Canada and $ 642,000 in the rest of the world.

In addition to the aforementioned film Rendezvous after the store closes , the play was also the template for the 1998 film em @ il for you with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan .


  • “Judy Garland was given ample opportunity to express her infectious sense of humor. […] Co-star Van Johnson was given the wonderful opportunity to flex his comedic muscles and reveal himself as a lightweight performer of immense charm and a certain amount of style. ”( “ Judy Garland was given ample opportunity to exploit her infectious sense of comedy […]. It also gave co-star Van Johnson a marvelous chance to flex his comedic muscles and reveal himself as a lightweight performer of immense charm and a certain amount of style. " ) - The Hollywood Musical
  • “Miss Garland [...] sings a number of nostalgic pieces in a captivating way. In fact, her amusing and casual interpretation of I Don't Care generated a storm of applause, which is an unusual tribute in a movie theater. "( " Miss Garland [...] sings a number of nostalgic songs in winning fashion. In fact, her amusing and freewheeling interpretation of I Don't Care brought a burst of applause, which is not a common tribute in a movie house. " ) - The New York Times


The screenwriters were nominated in 1950 for the Writers Guild of America Award in the category "Best Written American Musical", but lost to Today we go for a stroll .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. accessed on July 25, 2015
  2. ^ Scott Schechter, Judy Garland: The Day-by-day Chronicle of a Legend . Cooper Square Press, New York 2002, ISBN 0-8154-1205-3 , p. 155.
  3. ^ H. Mark Glancy: MGM film grosses, 1924–1948: The Eddie Mannix Ledger . In: Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television . Volume 12, No. Issue 2, 1992, pp. 127-144. doi : 10.1080 / 01439689200260081 .
  4. ^ Clive Hirschhorn, The Hollywood Musical , 1981, Octopus Books, London, ISBN 0-7064-2733-5 .
  5. ^ The New York Times , August 5, 1949, quoted in Scott Schechter, Judy Garland: The Day-by-day Chronicle of a Legend . Cooper Square Press, New York 2002, ISBN 0-8154-1205-3 , p. 155.
  6. Back in the summer. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed December 5, 2019 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used