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Studio City Walk of Fame Highlights: 'I Surrender, Dear'

Read about the Studio City Walk of Fame around Ventura Boulevard.

I Surrender, Dear
Tile #149 on the Studio City Walk of Fame

Production Company: Mack Sennett Comedies

Cast:  Bing Crosby, Arthur Stone, Luis Alberni, Julia Griffith, Marion Sayers, Alice Adair

Directed by Mack Sennett

SYNOPSIS: Bing Crosby portrays himself in I Surrender, Dear, as the radio star gets tangled up with a woman betrothed to a jealous Latin lover. The film opens with Crosby singing the title song in front of a packed crowd at the Café Royale. Ethel Dobbs (Alice Adair) listens to Crosby on the radio as she travels by train with her mother and fiancé Marquis. Ethel adores Crosby's singing and wishes her pompous fiancé were more like him. By coincidence, Crosby is at the station to meet his sister. Mistaking Ethel for his sister he gives her a hug. And the comedy ensues.

The two-reel musical comedy short, produced and directed by Mack Sennett the "King of Comedy", was released on September 13, 1931. I Surrender, Dear is one of six musical comedies Mr. Crosby made for Mack Sennett that include One More Chance (1931), Billboard Girl (1932), Dream House (1932), Blue of the Night (1933) and Sing, Bing, Sing (1933).

The title song "I Surrender Dear" composed by Harry Barris with lyrics by Gordon Clifford was performed by Bing Crosby. Other songs he performs in the film are "Out of Nowhere", "A Little Bit of Heaven (Shure They Call It Ireland)" and "At Your Command" which he co-wrote the lyrics with Harry Tobias.

“I Surrender Dear” recorded in January, 1931 with Gus Arnheim's Coconut Grove Orchestra was Bing Crosby's first major solo hit. Climbing the charts to third place in early 1931, this recording resulted in Crosby signing with CBS for his first radio show. It was later that year that Mack Sennett asked Crosby to do a short, musical film entitled, I Surrender Dear.

The song has been covered by a large number of artists, making it a jazz and pop standard. Among the artists covering the song are Louis Armstrong 1931, Nat King Cole 1952, Aretha Franklin 1962, Thelonious Monk 1965, Count Basie 1966, Julie London 1967, Ella Fitzgerald 1972, Chet Atkins 1978, Madonna and Jennifer Grey in 1989.

ABOUT MACK SENNETT

Mack Sennett was born on January 17, 1880 in Richmond, Québec, Canada as Mikall Sinnott.

Joint founder of the Keystone studios in 1912, Mack Sennett launched the careers of Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, W. C. Fields, Bing Crosby, Fatty Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, Stan Laurel, Marie Dressler and Wallace Beery. In 1917 he left Keystone and founded the Mack Sennett Comedies Corporation which joined forces with Pathé in 1923.

In 1926 plans for a new city in the San Fernando Valley were being developed. It began with the purchase of a 50 acre lettuce ranch at the corner of Colfax Avenue and Ventura Boulevard, along with a 300 acre ranch located at Laurel Canyon. Mack Sennett was looking for a new studio location. A deal was struck and in 1928 Mack Sennett Studios opened and the surrounding area became known as Studio City. At this time the Studio consisted of one office building, a projection room/film editing building, a film library, a two-story dressing room building attached to a large sound stage, a wardrobe building, garage, and a stage with an in ground swimming pool.

In 1932, Mack Sennett was nominated for two Academy Awards and won an Academy Award for Best Short Subject, Novelty in 1932 for Wrestling Swordfish. In 1937 the Academy presented Mack Sennett with an honorary Academy Award, "For his lasting contribution to the comedy technique of the screen, the basic principles of which are as important today as when they were first put into practice, the Academy presents a special award to that master of fun, discoverer of stars, sympathetic, kindly, understanding comedy genius, Mack Sennett."

Mack Sennett passed away on November 5, 1960 in Woodland Hills, California at the age of 80.

Filmed at Mack Sennett Studios, 4024 Radford Avenue in Studio City, CA, now .

For more information, please visit the SCIA website Walk of Fame pages.

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