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On Moonlight Bay (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On Moonlight Bay
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRoy Del Ruth
Screenplay byJack Rose
Melville Shavelson
Based onPenrod
1914 novel and stories
by Booth Tarkington
Produced byWilliam Jacobs
StarringDoris Day
Gordon MacRae
Jack Smith
CinematographyErnest Haller
Edited byThomas Reilly
Music byMax Steiner
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • July 26, 1951 (1951-07-26)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,730,000[1]
$2.5 million (US rentals)[2]

On Moonlight Bay is a 1951 American musical film starring Doris Day and Gordon MacRae, and directed by Roy Del Ruth, which tells the story of the Winfield family at the turn of the 20th century. The movie is based loosely on the Penrod stories by Booth Tarkington.[3] The sequel By the Light of the Silvery Moon was made in 1953.

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In a small Indiana town in the mid-1910s, the Winfield household has just moved into a larger house in a nicer neighborhood. The family includes George, the father, who is a banker, his wife Alice, their grown tomboyish daughter Margie, their mischievous precocious trouble-making son Wesley, and their exasperated housekeeper Stella. No one but George is happy about the move, until Marjorie meets their new neighbor, William Sherman, home on a break from his studies at Indiana University. The two are immediately attracted to each other, which makes Margie change her focus from baseball to trying to become a proper young woman as perceived by society at the time.

Margie and Bill develop a romantic relationship despite, or perhaps because of, Bill's unconventional thoughts on life, including not believing in the institution of marriage or the role money plays in society.

The road to a happy life between Margie and Bill is hindered by distance (as Bill returns to school), Margie's attempts to learn perceived feminine things, her father’s disapproval and preference for another suitor, her brother’s continual meddling, and the U.S. entry into World War I.

Margie’s father softens when her brother breaks a window with their father’s old slingshot. This ultimately makes the father more receptive to her relationship with Bill and the movie reaches a happy ending.[4]




According to Warner Bros., the film earned $2,738,000 in the U.S. and $992,000 in other markets.[1]


The film was nominated for the American Film Institute's 2006 list AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 31 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952
  3. ^ "Musical Based on 'Penrod' Stories". The New York Times. 1951-07-27. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-12-19.
  4. ^ On Moonlight Bay (1951), retrieved 2017-11-28
  5. ^ "AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-13.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 August 2023, at 14:27
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