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The Hard Way (1943)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Musical, Romance  |  20 February 1943 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 716 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 4 critic

Embittered, ambitious Helen Sherman sees an opportunity to escape her drab small-town life by becoming a 'stage mother' to her musically-talented younger sister.

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(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Hard Way (1943)

The Hard Way (1943) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dennis Morgan ...
Paul Collins
...
Katherine 'Katie' Blaine
...
Albert Runkel
...
Lily Emery
Faye Emerson ...
Ice Cream Parlor Waitress
Paul Cavanagh ...
John 'Jack' Shagrue
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Storyline

Ambitious Helen Chernin (Ida Lupino) pushes her talented younger sister Katherine (Joan Leslie) into marriage with broken down song-and-dance man Albert Runkel (Jack Carson) so that the two women can leave the dirty steel town where they live. Runkel's partner Paul Collins (Dennis Morgan), however, sees through Helen's plan. Helen continues driving her sister's career and eventually Katherine becomes a star on Broadway, while Runkel and Collins' act flounders. Success soon goes to Katherine's head and she becomes a fast-living party girl. Time passes and Helen and Katherine run into Paul, now a successful band leader. He and Katherine soon fall in love. The two sisters eventually have a showdown on opening night of Katherine's latest show when Katherine discovers that Helen is also in love with Paul. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sister LOVE...and HATE! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 February 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nehéz út  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis was originally the first choice for the role of Helen Chernin but turned it down. Upon seeing the finished product, however, she mused, "How did I let that one get away?" See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film Dennis Morgan takes a seat to see Joan Leslie's play. He is seated next to a young woman. The next time the camera cuts to him he is in the same seat, but sitting next to an older woman wearing completely different clothing. See more »

Quotes

Katherine 'Katie' Blaine: [Looking in the mirror at her new, very sexy dress] Boy, if I showed up in Greenhill wearing this, they'd call out the fire department!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Me (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

I Get a Kick Out of You
(1934) (uncredited)
Written by Cole Porter
Played when Mr. Wade talks to Albert and Katie after their act
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb Acting Better than Script!!
10 March 2005 | by (Brooklyn, New York) – See all my reviews

Rarely seen these days, and unavailable on tape, THE HARD WAY is a melodramatic gem, vaulted by five strong performances. True, the beginning looks as if we are going to watch 'Mildred Pierce', and, true, the ending is totally false if you know anything about the theater at all. Despite the script's weaknesses, this is a film to see, and I am glad that I have been able to obtain a copy. Ida Lupino is excellent as the grasping, obsessive, manipulative elder sister who pushes her younger sibling into show biz prominence. Lupino won the N.Y. Film Critics' honors but, surprisingly, was not nominated for an Oscar. It is a strong performance that, perhaps, needs a little shading here and there. Joan Leslie has an even more demanding role, however, in that her personality and growth is altered throughout the film. She is exquisite even though, as it often was in films of the 40's, the show-within-a-show sequences really are weak. Leslie's career ended because she was essentially blacklisted after she sued to get out of her Warner Bros. contract. (She had been considered to be the lead in 'The Constant Nymph' so some saw her emerging talents!). Jack Carson is remarkable, as he would be later in such films as 'The Tattered Dress'; Dennis Morgan gives his best acting work; and Gladys George, in a cameo, is wonderful even though it is evident the character is out-of-focus in terms of the way in which Broadway works (she never would have been given just one song in a revue). Vincent Sherman's direction is uniformly good in that it often leaps over plot contrivances and zeroes in on the performances. Leslie's acting abilities would be wasted until she free-lanced in REPEAT PERFORMANCE, BORN TO BE BAD (a better look at Broadway), and others. THE HARD WAY remains a forgotten and generally fine film.


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