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Rhythm on the River (1940)

Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and ... See full summary »

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, (story) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Cherry Lane
...
Oliver Courtney
...
Billy Starbuck
Oscar Shaw ...
Charlie Goodrich
...
Uncle Caleb
Lillian Cornell ...
Millie Starling
...
Mr. Westlake
John Scott Trotter ...
Orchestra Leader
Jeanne Cagney ...
Country cousin (as Jean Cagney)
Helen Bertram ...
Aunt Delia
Ken Carpenter ...
Teddy Gardner (announcer)
...
Bernard Schwartz
Harry Barris ...
Bass Sax player
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wingy Manone ...
Himself - Band Leader
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Storyline

Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and then try to sell their songs under their own name. The problem is every song publisher thinks they're copying Courtney's style. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

songwriter | songwriting | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Some singers! Some swingers! The hum-dinger of hum-dingers!

Genres:

Musical | Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ajan sävel  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Throughout the movie, the song "Goodbye To Love" is mentioned, but no lyrics or melody are heard at all in the film. This movie is credited as being the inspiration of the song "Goodbye To Love", written by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis, and later recorded by The Carpenters. See more »

Quotes

Bob Sommers: Oh, I don't know. She's gone into some kind of wing-ding...
Uncle Caleb: Wing-ding? Gosh, I thought it was a cyclone.
[reference to Grapewin's role in "The Wizard of Oz"]
See more »


Soundtracks

That's for Me
(uncredited)
Music by James V. Monaco
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Sung by Mary Martin
Also sung by Lillian Cornell
See more »

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User Reviews

Bing Crosby & Mary Martin in a Pleasant Paramount Musical
16 May 2004 | by (Ottawa) – See all my reviews

"Rhythm on the River" is one of Bing Crosby's finest of his underrated Paramount musicals.

I discovered it last night, along with another Crosby musical vehicle called "We're Not Dressing" (1934). I never thought both would turn out to be this great. They are the kind of honest, feel-good musicals I'd enjoy and watch them over and over again.

Lightly directed by that underrated stylist Victor Schertzinger, "Rhythm on the River" is a pleasant, surprisingly genial little musical comedy about a gifted and unobserved pop composer Bob Sommers (Crosby) who happens to be in love with an equally gifted musician Cherry Lane (Mary Martin). Both are ghostwriters for a famous has-been composer Oliver Courtney (Basil Rathbone in a fine, delightful role) who uses Bob and Cherry's lyrics & songs for his own good. Oscar Levant has a good supporting role as Billy Starbuck, Oliver's closest friend, the one that inspires Bob and Cherry to write more lyrics and songs for his untalented buddy.

Mr. Crosby and Ms. Martin have awesome chemistry on screen. Their singing and charming camaraderie are wonderfully observed. I particularly adore Ms. Martin; I thought she was her very touching in her performance and kinda reminded me of Margaret Sullavan, with her sweet, humble innocence or dedication.

The memorable songs include "That's For Me", "Ain't It a Shame About Mame" (both sung by Martin), "What Would Shakespeare Have Said?", "Rhythm on the River" (both sung by Crosby), and the unforgettable "Only Forever" (sung by Martin and Crosby together).

"Rhythm on the River" is available on VHS/DVD, courtesy of MCA/Universal Home Video in good transfer and I recommend it to you.


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