Small Town Girl (1953): László Kardos’ Musical, Starring Jane Powell, Farley Granger, and Ann Miller

László Kardos directed Small Town Girl, a musical movie starring Jane Powell, Farley Granger, and Ann Miller.

Small Town Girl
Small town girl poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster

Rick Belrow Livingston (Farley Granger), in love with self-obsessed Broadway star Lisa (Ann Miller), is sentenced to 30 days in jail for speeding through a small town.

By accident, he meets the daughter of the judge, Cindy Kimbell (Jane Powell), and persuades her to let him out for one night, so that he can visit Lisa on the premise he is seeing his “poor sick mother” (Billie Burke) on her birthday.

After tracking him down and bringing him back to town, Cindy falls for Livingston, but Dr. Schlemmer (S. Z. Sakall) wants her to marry his son (Bobby Van) even though he wants a career on Broadway.

Busby Berkeley choreographed several dance numbers.

Bobby Van performed the “Street Dance,” in which he hopped all around town.

The film features song performances by Nat King Cole, including Oscar nominated song.

Oscar Context

The film was Oscar-nominated for the Best Original Song, “My Flaming Heart,” music by Nicholas Brodszky and lyrics by Leo Robin, but it did not win.

Jane Powell as Cindy Kimbell
Farley Granger as Rick Belrow Livingston
Ann Miller as Lisa Bellmount
S. Z. Sakall as “Papa” Eric Schlemmer
Robert Keith as Judge Gordon Kimbell
Bobby Van as Ludwig Schlemmer
Billie Burke as Mrs. Livingston
Fay Wray as Mrs. Gordon Kimbell
Chill Wills as Happy
Nat King Cole as himself
Dean Miller as Mac
William Campbell as Ted
Philip Tunge as Hemmingway (the butler)
Jonathan Cott as Jim (the cop)
Bobby Yatt and Dennis
Rudy Lee as Jimmy
Beverly Wills as Deidre
Gloria Noble as Patsy
Jane Liddell as Betty
Nancy Valentine as Mary
Janet Stewart as Sandra
Peggy Melntire as Susie
Virginia Hall as “girlfriend”


Directed by László Kardos
Produced by Joe Pasternak
Written by Dorothy Cooper (story and screenplay), Dorothy Kingsley (screenplay)
Music by Nicholas Brodszky, André Previn
Albert Sendrey
Cinematography Joseph Ruttenberg
Edited by Albert Akst
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Release date: April 10, 1953

Running time: 92 minutes
Budget $1,438,000
Box office $2,127,000


TCM showed the movie on Jan 30, 2021.