When My Baby Smiles at Me (film)

For the namesake song, see When My Baby Smiles at Me (song).
When My Baby Smiles at Me
Directed by Walter Lang
Produced by George Jessel
Written by Elizabeth Reinhardt
Lamar Trotti
George Manker Watters (play)
Arthur Hopkins (play)
Starring Betty Grable
Dan Dailey
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Harry Jackson
Edited by Barbara McLean
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • November 10, 1948 (1948-11-10)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $3.4 million (US rentals)[1]

When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948) is a musical film released by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and starring Betty Grable and Dan Dailey. This is the third film based on the popular Broadway play Burlesque, the others being The Dance of Life (1929) and Swing High, Swing Low (1937). When My Baby Smiles at Me is the first (and to date, the only) full Technicolor film version of that play; The Dance of Life had several Technicolor sequences, but they are no longer extant.

Dan Dailey received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance, but lost to Laurence Olivier for Hamlet.


Bonny Kane and 'Skid' Johnson are vaudeville performers in the 1920s. The two of them suffer marital difficulties when Skid gets an offer to appear on Broadway while Bonny gets left behind on the road. Things get worse with Skid's increasing drinking problem and the fact that the press has reported him to be spending a lot of time with his pretty co-star.



When My Baby Smiles at Me was 20th Century Fox's highest grossing film of 1948. Grable had been reigning the box office since the beginning of the 1940s and scored her biggest triumph with Mother Wore Tights the previous year. Dailey received an Academy Award nomination for his performance in this film, while Grable did not. In fact many thought she should have at least received an Oscar nomination for Mother Wore Tights.

Radio adaptation

When My Baby Smiles at Me was presented on Screen Directors Playhouse May 5, 1950, with Grable reprising her role from the motion picture.[2]


  1. "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46
  2. "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest. 38 (3): 32–39. Summer 2012.
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