This Is the Life (1944 film)

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This Is the Life
Directed by Felix E. Feist
Written by Wanda Tuchock
Based onthe play Angela Is Twenty-Two
by Sinclair Lewis and Fay Wray
Produced by Bernard W. Burton
Starring Donald O'Connor
Susanna Foster
Peggy Ryan
Cinematography Hal Mohr
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • June 2, 1944 (1944-06-02)
Running time
87 min.
CountryUnited States

This Is the Life is a 1944 American musical romantic comedy film directed by Felix E. Feist starring Donald O'Connor, Susanna Foster, and Peggy Ryan. It is one of the several films that Universal Studios rushed O'Connor and Ryan through before O'Connor was drafted into the Army to serve in World War II.



On her 18th birthday, orphan Angela Rutherford is given an inheritance of $6000. Her wisecracking friend Jimmy Plum arranges for a professional band to perform a number for her party, "You're a Lollapalooza", sung and danced by Jimmy and the band's Sally McGuire. Afterward, Sally tells Jimmy she likes him, but he is in love with Angela, who in turn is infatuated with Army surgeon Major Hilary Jarret. Angela is certain that Jimmy's father, Dr. Plum, will arrange a deferment so that Jimmy can follow in his footsteps and go to medical school, but Jimmy insists he is going to enlist.

While gazing at a sleeping Hilary, Angela fantasizes that she is serenading him with "Ciri-Biri-Bin". When he wakes up, Angela makes it clear she is attracted to him, causing him to deflect her advances and return to New York City to try to get reinstated into the Army, having recovered from malaria. Angela and her aunt Betsy follow him. She takes singing lessons, showing him what she has learned with a rendition of "L'amour, toujours, l'amour".

After Hilary is declared unfit for active service, Angela wears him down in his depressed state and gets him to agree to an engagement. Jimmy travels to New York and is ready to give up when he finds out, even though Hilary encourages him to fight for Angela.

Jimmy encounters photographer Harriet West and learns she has some connection with Hilary, so he arranges a "chance" reunion at a nightclub. It turns out that Harriet is Hilary's ex-wife. The couple are still attracted to each other, but Harriet remembers their clashes over their careers. Everybody resents Jimmy's schemes and ask him to desist, but he persists. Finally, after Jimmy gets Angela to eavesdrop on a conversation between Hilary and Harriet, she realizes they still love each other. They get back together, while Jimmy enlists in the Army.



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