Filmography: Happy Days are Here Again (1974)

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Basic Information: Directed: Cirio H. Santiago; Cast: All Star Cast; Production Co.: Premiere Productions/LVN Productions/Sampaguita Pictures; Release Date: November 15, 1974

Plot Description: A collections of special film clips, mostly production numbers, from the hit films of the big three, Sampaguita, Premeire, and LVN. Films of the 50s, 60s and 70s narrated by the big studio’s contracts stars like Gloria Romero, Nida Blanca, Eddie Gutierrez and others.

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…In 1974, the Big 3 studios of the 50s, LVN Pictures, Sampaguita Pictures and Premiere Productions reproduced a full-length movie showcasing a compilation of the musical comedies produced by the three studios. It was a painstaking job for the researchers since most of the best musicals produced by the three studios were either lost or destroyed. At the start of the project, director Lamberto V. Avellana was supposed to direct the film but eventually replaced by Cirio Santiago after so many changes in the project including the script. He ended up as consultant of the movie. The film was HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN, with brief narrations by movie stars like Gloria Romero, Nida Blanca, Susan Roces, Leopoldo Salcedo, Jaime de la Rosa, Eddie Gutierrez, Tirso Cruz III, Pugo, German Moreno and Ike Lozada…” – Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

“Happy Days Are Here Again (Sampaguita Pictures / LVN Studios And Premiere Productions, 1974) proves to cynics that there was a golden age of Filipino movies. From the pre-war era to the early 50’s, the Filipino film industry produced movies with superior techniques and highly entertaining plots. These films were considered a national past-time not only by a common public but also by an elite group who looked upon its stars as peers. If moviegoers nowadays look upon their plots as overused formulas and their gawky sentiments as embarrassments, it is because these films expressed the spirit of their times, an innocence albeit hypocritical, which we have overgrown. Although limited to the output of three major studios LVN, Sampaguita and Premiere, the movie has many memories to offer. If we do let a tear fall, it’s because there has been nothing to replace them. First and foremost of the excerpts is from Giliw Ko (1939), a musical with Mila del Sol being serenaded by Fernando Poe. The movie was restored by The National Film And Sound Archive Of Australia and the Philippine Information Agency in 1998 since most of the pre-war films are either lost or destroyed. Among the other outstanding excerpts are the finale from Nasaan Ka Irog (1957) with Letty Liboon, Diomedes Maturan singing The Rose Tatoo, Nida Blanca’s singing and dancing in Batangueña (1953) and Waray-Waray (1954), Pugo and Togo in scenes from their comedies, Dolphy and Lolita Rodriguez as Jack And Jill (1953), Hollywood actor Don Johnson singing Close To You, a song popularized by The Carpenters to leading lady Nora Aunor in a deleted scene from Lollipops And Roses (1971) and the grand finale from Hawayana (1953)…” – Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…Cirio H. Santiago had grown up in the studio owned by his parents and in 1957, aged only 21, had enough business acumen to forsee the grim future for the Big Three studios. Of particular interest to Santiago were the opportunities to be made in the lucrative and ever-expanding American drive-in circuit. With dreams of taking his films to the world’s screens, and with the American drive-in circuit firmly in his sights, Santiago took a huge financial risk for Premiere: along with Eddie Romero, he set up the Philippines’ first production, The Day Of The Trumpet (1957), for the international market. Santiago himself continued to pursue a career in the international whilst keeping Premiere Productions afloat. By the early Seventies Premiere began seeking out co-production deals with countries including the United States; Premiere, one of the Big Three studios of the Fifties, was rapidly evolving to become primarily, though not exclusively, a production unit for international features and co-productions including those of Roger Corman. In Corman, Santiago found the perfect partner in crime, and would continue a working relationship and close friendship from their first meeting in 1970 until Cirio passed away in 2008…” – Andrew Leavold (READ MORE)

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