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Meet the People (1944)

A idealistic shipyard worker interests a beautiful Hollywood star in staging a musical tribute to the war industry, but they disagree on some important issues.


Charles Reisner (as Charles Riesner)


Sol Barzman (short story), Ben Barzman (short story) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lucille Ball ... Julie Hampton
Dick Powell ... William 'Swanee' Swanson
Virginia O'Brien ... 'Woodpecker' Peg
Bert Lahr ... The Commander
Rags Ragland ... Mr. Smith (as 'Rags' Ragland)
June Allyson ... Annie
Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra ... Vaughn Monroe's Orchestra
Spike Jones and His City Slickers Spike Jones and His City Slickers ... Spike Jones' City Slickers
Steven Geray ... Uncle Felix (as Steve Geray)
Paul Regan Paul Regan ... 'Buck'
Howard Freeman ... Mr. George Peetwick
Betty Jaynes ... Steffi
John Craven ... John Swanson
Morris Ankrum ... Monte Rowland
Miriam LaVelle Miriam LaVelle ... Miriam - Acrobatic Dancer


Shipyard worker Bill Swanson writes a wartime play celebrating the American spirit. He meets theatre actress Julie Hampton, visiting the shipyard on a bond drive, and convinces her to read his patriotic opus. Enthusiastic at its potential, Julie is able to get the show produced, but Bill is dismayed when he discovers that its being turned into a musical. Withdrawing his option, he returns to his day job, but Julie isn't to be put off so easily. Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents the gayest musical!


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 March 1945 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Meet the People See more »


Box Office


$1,302,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lucille Ball's singing was dubbed by Gloria Grafton. See more »


The Rodgers and Hart song, "I Like To Recognize The Tune", was incorrectly titled "I'd Like To Recognize The Tune" in the main titles. See more »


The Commander: You must come up and launch with me sometime.
See more »


Referenced in Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs (2008) See more »


Oriental Music
Composer unknown
Danced by 'Mata and Hari'
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User Reviews

I can only assume most shipyards had bands like Spike Jones and singer/writers like Dick Powell.
6 June 2018 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Although the war industry in the United States during WWII produced huge amounts of weaponry, you'd never think so if you watched "Meet the People"! Although it's supposedly set at a shipyard, you never see anyone work at all! Instead, they sing, dance and put on shows all the time...or at least that's what I learned from this movie!

The story begins at the shipyard and a famous actress, Julie Hampton (Lucille Ball), is there for a bond rally. Naturally, the ship builders are a very loyal lot and they invest heavily in the bonds. What they also have is a soon to be discovered playwright and singer, William Swanson (Dick Powell). Soon he and Julie are working on getting his play produced but soon Swanee stomps off and refuses to allow them to put on the play. The director is sure Swanee will change his mind but when he doesn't, Julie returns to the shipyard to convince Swanee to change his mind.

What follows is essentially a giant talent show spread throughout the rest of the film. Folks are breaking into song and dance numbers every few minutes (complete with costumes that appeared from no where) and practically ANYTHING encourages them to perform. As for me, it felt like a showcase for MGM's second and third stringers....and I felt as if they should have pared down the number of numbers and emphasized the plot more than they did as it was a bit tedious at times. Back when it debuted, films like this were not that uncommon and it probably did well at the box office. Today, however, it seems a bit dated and is more a time-passer than anything else.

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