“The Glory Of Love” Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner 1967; A look at Jacqueline Fontaine

by Janet Roitz | See: All, Ladies of the Nightclubs, Video Gallery

Though her appearance in the 1967 film is shorter than brief and her name a mystery in the screen credits, Jacqueline Fontaine is a true and steadfast “Lady of the Nightclubs”. In Track 4 of our series, Fabulous Film Songs, we take a look at an amazingly determined performer whose off-beat career leads to a very special niche in the halls of American Cinema Classics. In fact, she is doubly-blessed. Jacqueline Fontaine’s lusty vocals and bosomy advantages were the focus of a bleary-eyed Bing Crosby in the duet, “Dissertation on the State of Bliss (or, Love and Learn Blues)”, a defining scene in the 1954 film that took everyone by surprise, “The Country Girl”. Crosby received an Oscar nomination as Best Actor and Grace Kelly won for Best Actress over Judy Garland in “A Star Is Born”. Thirteen years later, during which Fontaine was crooning her way on the Las Vegas Strip, Stanley Kramer picked her up as the lounge singer in “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. The story goes that it was Fontaine’s idea to sing composer Billy Hill’s enduring hit from 1936, “The Glory of Love”. Once again, the song hit the jackpot. “The Glory of Love” becomes the signature theme of the film, featured during its opening and closing credits, and introduced by Jacqueline Fontaine in the Japanese cocktail lounge where the potent “Dr. John Prentice” (Sidney Poitier) and bubbly ingenue socialite “Joey Drayton” (Katharine Houghton) fire-up their impromptu wedding plans. Given less than 30 seconds of actual on-screen time and with not even half the song, Jacqueline Fontaine — the pistol-packin’ mama from “Dalton’s Women” and favorite jungle pin-up girl of “Untamed Mistress” — delivers the juiciest knock-out punch to a popular standard inserted into a film that will absolutely stand the test of time. — Sean Martinfield

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