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On Moonlight Bay

120 customer reviews

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On Moonlight Bay + By the Light of the Silvery Moon + Calamity Jane
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On Moonlight Bay (DVD)

Musical about a family that moves to a small Indiana town and their tomboy daughter who begins a romance with the neighbor across the street, who bears radically unconventional views on love and money.

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Amazon.com

America's love affair with clean-cut, tomboyish, freckle-faced Doris Day got a boost with On Moonlight Bay, a period piece from 1951. The film's masterstroke: put Doris in an old-timey musical full of small-town family values and vintage songs. Another inspiration: pair off Doris again with that chesty-voiced man's man and future Rodgers and Hammerstein stalwart, Gordon MacRae (they'd already made Tea for Two and The West Point Story). The story is drawn from Booth Tarkington's Penrod tales, although the movie is also under the sway of Meet Me in St. Louis. The WWI-era family is anchored by parents Leon Ames (the pop from St. Louis) and Rosemary De Camp, with echt-Fifties boy Billy Gray (later of Father Knows Best) as Day's bratty younger brother. Mary Wickes, cinema's eternal sassy housekeeper, provides comic relief. So does radio crooner Jack Smith, who would later host You Asked for It on TV for many years, as Day's maladroit suitor (he's really funny--too bad Preston Sturges never got a hold of him). The material is so relentlessly wholesome you might have to pinch yourself that anybody really believed it, but audiences sure wanted to. The film's popularity prompted a sequel, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, with most of the cast intact. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Vintage musical short: "Let's Sing a Song About the Moonlight"
  • Classic cartoon: "A Hound for Trouble"
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, Jack Smith, Leon Ames, Rosemary De Camp
  • Directors: Roy Del Ruth
  • Writers: Booth Tarkington, Jack Rose
  • Producers: William Jacobs
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, NTSC, Full Screen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2007
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MGBLQE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,733 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "On Moonlight Bay" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Paul Brogan on December 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
By 1951 Doris Day had become one of the most valuable assets at Warner Brothers. She was their number one female box-office draw and as a follow-up to her hugely popular 1950 musical with Gordon MacRae, "Tea for Two" the pair were teamed up again (their 3rd teaming in fact) in the technicolor "On Moonlight Bay".
Loosely based on the "Penrod" tales by Booth Tarkington, "Bay" is a nostalgic, lovingly created look at small town Americana, a world that might not have existed quite as it is depicted but a place we'd like to believe really was.
Doris Day is a tomboy, more at home on the baseball field or fixing a car than in a dress. The arrival of the boy next door changes some of that, though not all. Her precocious brother Wesley is the devil incarnate. Mom and Dad spend a lot of time scratching their heads in bemused wonderment at their youngsters antics, and the family maid is erascible but likeable. It's all tied up with gorgeous technicolor photography and a lot of lovely music.
Some critics have carped that it's Warners version of "Meet Me in St. Louis" but "On Moonlight Bay" can stand on its own merits thanks to a great cast and some genuinely sweet and funny moments.
Doris is perfect as Marjorie, effectively balancing the tomboy and blossoming young lady elements of her character and singing in that gorgeous voice that is distinctly her own. Gordon MacRae is stalwart as the object of her affection and it's obvious that the two have a genuine feeling for one another. They remained good friends until his untimely passing. Their rendition of "Till We Meet Again" is outstanding.
It's easy to believe that the cast is really a family. Leon Ames and Rosemary DeCamp as the parents are warmly winning.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Veronica L. Rivera on April 3, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Outspoken college boy, William Sherman (Gordon MacRae) falls for tomboy Marjorie Winfield (Doris Day) in this fun romantic musical set in a small Indiana town in the early 1900's. After accidentally shooting him and missing in the barn, Marjorie gives up baseball and embarks on a series of romantic adventures with the handsome William.
Their romance is sweet and innocent from beginning to end. They share their first date at the Moonlight Bay amusement park where they enjoy a canoe ride, dance a two-step, win a kewpie doll, and share their first kiss. They sing beautiful songs together and to each other like "Cuddle Up A Little Closer," "Till We Meet Again," and many more.
They also face opposition from Marjorie's father and a near elopement as they find themselves being separated by William's enlistment in the army during WWI.
The nostalgic atmosphere created by the period music, clothes, and sets is unforgettable from the houses to the streets to the old fashioned school house. If you want to get lost in an old-fashioned romance and bring to life the feeling of old town Americana, then this movie is it!!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Chris on April 27, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Marjorie Winfield(Doris Day) and her family move to a new town so her father George Winfield (Leon Ames) can be living closer to the bank that he works at along with his wife Mrs. Winfield (Rosemary Camp), Wesley Winfield (Billy Gray). Their she meets and falls in love with William Sherman (Gordon MacRae) at first her parents are all for it until they find out that he doesn't support marriage and that he hates banks. Which Mr. Winfield is the president of the Town Bank! So they have a lot of fun with everything fun that they do! Their are a lso a lot of other fun songs that are being sung like Be My Little Baby Bumble Bee, And On Moonlight Bay. This is one Movie Musical that you are for sure to enjoy!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 31, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
ON MOONLIGHT BAY is a charming period musical, perhaps Warner Brothers' answer to MGM's hugely-successful MEET ME IN ST LOUIS. It is based on Booth Tarkington's `Penrod' stories.

Marjorie Winfield (Doris Day) has just moved with her family to another part of town. She is a baseball-playing tomboy, but when she happens to run into handsome neighbour William Sherman (Gordon MacRae), her feminine instincts kick in and she trades her baseball and trousers for chiffon and perfume.

The rest of Marjorie's family includes her parents (Leon Ames and Rosemary DeCamp), precocious little brother Wesley (Billy Gray) and deadpan housekeeper Stella (Mary Wickes). It is a sunny, funny portrayal of a more innocent era, and thus charming viewing.

The entire movie is a complete joy. Doris Day and Gordon MacRae are perfect for the leads (they were also beautifully paired in Warners' TEA FOR TWO), and the film was such a success that a sequel was made reuniting all the main cast members - BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I've been looking for a copy of this movie for 2 years now. I'm so happy to learn it has a sequel! If you know a movie doesn't have to be disgusting to be funny and love zany romantic comedies and/or musicals, you'll enjoy "On Moonlight Bay". Sure, the ending is predictable, but there are plenty of surprises along the way. If you liked "Tammy and the Bachelor", you will like this movie equally well (if not more). It's my opinion that this movie is funnier and attracts a wider audience than "Tammy".
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