Let's Be Happy

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Let's Be Happy
Let's Be Happy (1957 film).jpg
Original three sheet poster
Directed by Henry Levin
Written by Dorothy Cooper
Screenplay by Diana Morgan (screenwriter)
Based onJeannie (1940 play)
by Aimée Stuart
Produced by Marcel Hellman
Starring Vera-Ellen
Tony Martin
Robert Flemyng
Cinematography Erwin Hillier
Edited byEdward B. Jarvis
Music by Nicholas Brodszky
Angela Morley
Marcel Hellman Productions/
Associated British Picture Corporation [1]
Distributed by Associated British-Pathé [2]
Release date
  • 9 May 1957 (1957-05-09)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Let's Be Happy is a Technicolor 1957 British musical film starring Tony Martin, Vera-Ellen and Robert Flemyng and directed by Henry Levin. [1] It was written by Dorothy Cooper and Diana Morgan in CinemaScope. This film was an updated remake of Jeannie (1941), starring Barbara Mullen, which itself was based on the stage play Jeannie by Aimée Stuart. [4]


The film was Vera-Ellen's final film; she later withdrew from public life after the death of her daughter, Victoria Ellen Rothschild. [5] The film is also Tony Martin's final appearance in a movie musical, although he later made a cameo appearance in Dear Mr. Wonderful , a 1982 film. [6]

Let's Be Happy premiered in London on 9 May 1957. [4]


Jeannie McLean lives in rural Vermont and inherits some money from her Scottish-born grandfather whom she was looking after in his old age. She decides to travel to Scotland to see her ancestral country. On the journey by air and train, she finds herself continuously sitting near Stanley Smith, a brash washing-machine salesman, whose pushy ways help her through various difficulties. She finally reaches Edinburgh (during the Festival).

At her hotel, Jeannie is romanced by Lord James MacNairn, an impoverished landowner, who has heard that she has money. When she catches out Stanley in a lie, she breaks off their friendship and accepts James' attentions. Stanley still follows her around, with a pretty French redhead in tow, including taking seats right behind James and Jeannie at the ballet, and inviting them to join them in a restaurant.

James takes Jeannie to see Loch Lomond and to a family wedding and to his family home - a huge castle. However, he is restricted to a very small wing of the castle with his housekeeper Miss Cathie, with the rest of the castle open to the public.

James asks Jeannie to marry him, but when he learns that she has spent all her inheritance, he confesses he originally wanted her for her money but now really does love her. But now knowing that he is also broke, she turns him down. Jeannie returns home to Vermont, but Stanley, having made a major sales coup, tracks her down and proposes to her.



Location filming took place in Edinburgh and other locations in Scotland, Paris, and Thirlestane Castle which serves as Lord James' country house. [7]

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  1. 1 2 "Let's Be Happy". BFI. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  2. Holmes, Su (2005). British Tv & Film Culture in the 1950s: Coming to a TVv Near You. Bristol UK & Portland, Oregon: Intellect. p. 227.
  3. Let's Be Happy at the American Film Institute Catalog
  4. 1 2 3 "Let's Be Happy - Stylish Strictly showgirl pop art by Art & Hue". Art & Hue.
  5. Lobosco, David (21 December 2012). "A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE: VERA-ELLEN: THE LATER YEARS". A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  6. Maslin, Janet (21 December 1983). "Lilienthal's 'Mr. Wonderful'" via NYTimes.com.
  7. "Let's Be Happy". REELSTREETS. Retrieved 13 May 2021.