The Glenn Miller Story

1954 film by Anthony Mann

The Glenn Miller Story is a 1954 American biographical film about bandleader Glenn Miller from his beginnings to his death over the English Channel in December 1944.

Directed by Anthony Mann. Written by Valentine Davies and Oscar Brodney.
It was a time that changed the world. And one man put it to music.taglines

Helen Burger

  • When someone really wants something, way inside, and they want it hard enough, they usually get it.
  • Did you know that people sleep between 3:00 and 6:00 in the morning?
  • Glenn isn't my type. I guess I'm just too practical or unromantic or something. I want a man like Ed who's got a factory or a store or something solid. I certainly don't want a wandering nomad like Glenn Miller.
  • What happened to that dream of yours? What about that sound?

Chummy McGregor

  • I wish we could stick together, but, well, I've been eatin' for two years now. It's kinda gotten to be a habit. I don't think I can break it.
  • Still got that crazy idea in your head, that sound?
  • Hey, Glenn! Come on back. Mr. Pollack wants to talk to you. He says your arrangement is a pip!

Si Shribman

  • If you can get a style the kids like, it can go on for - years maybe. No matter who is in it. It keeps right on going.


  • Louis Armstrong: Glenn, come here, Daddy. Beat out one like you did with Ben Pollack.


Glenn Miller: You think I'm kinda rudderless, don't you? Wandering over the country with the band.
Helen Burger: Yes, I guess I do.
Glenn Miller: But I'm not, though. I know exactly where I'm going. I know exactly what I want to do.
Helen Burger: You do?
Glenn Miller: I'm not gonna be a sideman all my life, a trombone player. I'm - I'm gonna have a band all of my own. I'm gonna play my own kind of music.

Glenn Miller: A band oughta have a sound all of its own, oughta have a personality.
Helen Burger: Sort of like a person.
Glenn Miller: Uh-huh.
Helen Burger: Well, how do you get this different sound?
Glenn Miller: You see, the arrangements, the way you score each one of the individual instruments. Some bands have that sound already, like Pollack, but it's not the right sound, not for me.
Helen Burger: What is?
Glenn Miller: I don't know. I don't know. I haven't found it yet. But someday I'm gonna find it.

Glenn Miller: I've tried all sorts of standard combinations. I never found out what I was looking for. If I start again, I've got to have an entirely different kind of a band. Different tunes. I wanna try something radical!
Si Schribman: Fine, fine. Go get radical. But just get going! I gotta have something in here making a noise the kids can dance to. That's all.

Don Haynes: Red Nichols is getting together a pit band for a new musical, "Girl Crazy". I know you're still looking for that sound but it's been two years now. You're not gonna find it on an empty stomach.
Glenn Miller: No, you sure can't.
Don Haynes: Besides, a lot of your friends are in the band: Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Babe Russin. It's a great chance, Glenn, and it'll run all season.
Glenn Miller: I guess I better take it.

Glenn Miller: Alright, alright, let's have the five saxes right in there...
Si Schribman: Five saxes?
Glenn Miller: And the trombones, right on the left here, over there, right in there, and the four trumpets right behind them...
Si Schribman: Four trombones and four trumpets! When they get playing, what's gonna hold the roof on?
Si's Assistant: He's trying five saxes with a trumpet lead.
Si Schribman: Maybe it's good and maybe it ain't, but it's radical!

Glenn Miller: Bought you a present for your birthday.
Helen Burger: My birthday? That isn't until next November.
Glenn Miller: This is for your last birthday...

Col. Spaulding: In all my 27 years in the Army I have never witnessed a more flagrant, outrageous breach of military decorum.
Glenn Miller: I'm sorry, Colonel.
Col. Spaulding: An officer deliberately walking through a reviewing column!
Glenn Miller: I had to get to the band, sir.
Col. Spaulding: Then playing blues!

General Arnold: I want to congratulate you on that band of yours.
Glenn Miller: Thank you, sir.
General Arnold: Great morale builder! Giving the men music they like. The effect was astonishing! You keep up the good work, Miller.
Glenn Miller: Yes, sir.
General Arnold: You know, I like your music myself. Makes me think of home. My children are playing your records day and night.

Helen Burger: Two years and not a word, and then a present like this.
Glenn Miller: Well, you know, with some people, ya don't have to write. You just know.

Helen Burger: Glenn and the boys are gonna do a movie in the fall.
Mrs. Miller: Why, Glenn Miller, are you gonna be a movie star?
Glenn Miller: Oh, yes, Mother. I'm gonna play Tarzan and swing from the trees playing my trombone.

Helen Burger: You know, I'm the kind of wife that steals money out of your pockets and puts it in the bank.
Glenn Miller: Would you really do that?
Helen Burger: Sure. I've already started.


  • It was a time that changed the world. And one man put it to music.
  • Their love made such wonderful music!


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