Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Arthur Lubin|
Dick Irving Hyland
Herbert J. Biberman
Arturo de Córdova|
Nat W. Finston|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
New Orleans is a 1947 American musical romance film featuring Billie Holiday as a singing maid and Louis Armstrong as a bandleader; supporting players Holiday and Armstrong perform together and portray a couple becoming romantically involved. During one song, Armstrong's character introduces the members of his band, a virtual Who's Who of classic jazz greats, including trombonist Kid Ory, drummer Zutty Singleton, clarinetist Barney Bigard, guitar player Bud Scott, bassist George "Red" Callender, pianist Charlie Beal, and pianist Meade Lux Lewis. Also performing in the film is cornetist Mutt Carey and bandleader Woody Herman. The music, however, takes a back seat to a rather conventional plot. The movie stars Arturo de Córdova and Dorothy Patrick, features Marjorie Lord, and was directed by Arthur Lubin.
A casino owner and a high society singer fall in love during the birth of the blues in New Orleans.
New Orleans has its origins in an abandoned component of an unfinished RKO Pictures feature film by Orson Welles -- "The Story of Jazz" segment of It's All True. A history of jazz alternatively titled "Jam Session", the section of the film was being written by Elliot Paul in 1941 under contract to Welles. The story of Louis Armstrong was to have been central to that segment of It's All True.:29, 282, 325:138-139
An additional connection to Welles is that several members of the film's Original New Orleans Ragtime Band -- Kid Ory, Mutt Carey, Bud Scott, Barney Bigard and Zutty Singleton -- had first been brought together in 1944, for his CBS Radio series, The Orson Welles Almanac.:138-139
The credits for New Orleans are detailed at the AFI Catalog of Feature Films.
Although most of the music created for New Orleans was truncated in the film's release version,:117 a soundtrack issued in 1983 made the full versions of the songs available, with additional music cut from the final release. Songs include "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?"