Make Believe Ballroom

Make Believe Ballroom is a 1949 American musical romantic comedy directed by Joseph Santley and produced by Ted Richmond.[1] It was loosely based on a radio program of the same name by Martin Block and Al Jarvis. The film starred Jerome Courtland, Ruth Warrick, Ron Randell, Virginia Welles, and Jarvis.[2]

Make Believe Ballroom
Directed byJoseph Santley
Screenplay byAlbert Duffy
Karen DeWolf
Story byAlbert Duffy
Produced byTed Richmond
StarringJerome Courtland
Ruth Warrick
Ron Randell
Virginia Welles
Al Jarvis
CinematographyHenry Freulich
Edited byJerome Thoms
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • April 1, 1949 (1949-04-01)
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited States


The film focuses on two carhops as they compete in a mystery record contest. John Reid, in the reference book Popular Pictures of the Hollywood 1940s, commented, "... this is one of those films which string together a musical melange through the excuse of a radio show."[3][self-published source]


Musicians featured as themselves in the film included Frankie Laine, The King Cole Trio, Toni Harper, Jack Smith, Kay Starr, The Sportsmen, Charlie Barnet, Jimmy Dorsey, Jan Garber, Pee Wee Hunt, Gene Krupa, and Ray McKinley.[3]


The film's concept dated back to 1932 and Al Jarvis, a disc jockey at radio station KFWB in Los Angeles, California. His daily program, "The World's Largest Make Believe Ballroom", featured popular recordings accompanied by relevant remarks about each one. In 1935, Martin Block began a similar program on WNEW in New York City, with the title shortened to "Make Believe Ballroom".[4]

Filming started 20 September 1948.[5]

The film marked a return to B pictures at Columbia for Ron Randell.[6]


  1. ^ "Make Believe Ballroom". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  2. ^ MAKE BELIEVE BALLROOM Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 16, Iss. 181, (Jan 1, 1949): 119.
  3. ^ a b Reid, John (2004). Popular Pictures of the Hollywood 1940s. pp. 74–75. ISBN 9781411617377. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal (2014). From Radio to the Big Screen: Hollywood Films Featuring Broadcast Personalities and Programs. McFarland. p. 198. ISBN 9780786477579. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  5. ^ Ruth Warrick Changes Pace in Musical Opus; Slezak Writes Movie Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 18 Sep 1948: 9.
  6. ^ Vagg, Stephen (August 10, 2019). "Unsung Aussie Actors – Ron Randell: A Top Twenty". Filmink.

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