George and Gracie starred in many movies during their radio days. They began their film career with a few shorts including “The Sales- girl” in the 1920s and 30s. Full-length flims such as Six of a Kind (above) and The Big Broadcast of 1932 were ground-breaking advancements for their careers. Co- stars in these films ranged from fellow comedians such as W. C. Fields in International House to dance stars like Fred Astaire in A Damsel in Distress. In these movies the couple would sing, dance, and, of course, do a few of their signature comedy spots.
Some of these dances were originals of the comedy team. In A Damsel in Distress a dance in which George, Gracie, and Fred Astaire used wisk brooms was actually taught to Fred by Burns and Allen. They had used the dance on the live stage of Vaudeville and thought that it would be an excellent addition to the movie. Imagine teaching Fred Astaire to dance. They did it!
Often in these movies George and Gracie did not play a couple. It was a great while that after becoming radio stars that they decided to play a married couple. So in movies such as A Damsel in Distress and College Swing, Gracie would often begin the movie being courted by another man and end the movie engaged or even married to another man! Not only did the team advance their own career but also discovered other more famous stars such as Archy Leach, better known as Cary Grant. Gracie also starred in a few movies alone including The Gracie Allen Murder Case and Mr. and Mrs. North.
The movies of Burns and Allen are timely classics that can readily be enjoyed by any generation. Their classic style of comedy in the movies was a president for many of the more modern comedies of our time…but all in all there is no one that compares with the original George Burns and Gracie Allen.
- Lamb Chops (1929) (short film)
- The Big Broadcast of 1932 (1931) (first feature)
- College Humor (1933)
- International House (1933)
- Many Happy Returns (1934)
- Six of a Kind (1934)
- We’re Not Dressing (1934)
- Love in Bloom (1935)
- The Big Broadcast of 1936 (1935)
- Here Comes Cookie (1936)
- College Holiday (1936)
- The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936)
- A Damsel in Distress (1937)
- College Swing (1938)
- Honolulu (1939)
Gracie solos in:
- The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939)
- Mr. and Mrs. North (1941)
- Two Girls and a Sailor (1944) (guest appearance)