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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 704 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 3 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:

There are two sides to every story -- and every woman! 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Per director Vincent Sherman, the film was actually based on dancer-actress Ginger Rogers' relationship with her quintessential stage-mother, Lela E. Rogers. See more »

Goofs

Near the end, when Paul walks in to see Helen and Katie (after Katie told Helen she and Paul were to be married), the shot goes from the sisters facing each other to standing shoulder to shoulder back to facing each other. See more »

Quotes

Paul Collins: [Looking around the train station] Wonder where that dumb partner of mine is. Boy, will I be glad to get him out of this town. Love has smitten him like a ten ton truck!
Ice Cream Parlor Waitress: Never hits you, does it?
Paul Collins: [Sarcastically] Every other Thursday, Baby.
See more »


Soundtracks

Thru the Courtesy of Love
(uncredited)
Music by M.K. Jerome (credited)
Played on piano when Helen and Katie arrive at the Shagrue party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exceptional--sort of like Film Noir combined with A STAR IS BORN
9 November 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This was an exceptional film--one that nearly earned a 9 and the deciding factor for me were the musical numbers which actually seemed to sometimes get in the way of the exceptional plot and acting. While this film was quite the coup for a young Joan Leslie, the real star of this film was Ida Lupino and this might just be her best performance. She plays an amoral and conniving woman who will do just about anything to make her younger sister (Leslie) a star--even use nice people like Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan to make it big. The fact that the script is so unrelenting in its way that it shows the depths to which Lupino would go made this a real standout film. Many other films of the day would have tried to soften her character more or give her a shot at redemption towards the end--a big mistake had they chosen to follow the typical formula of the day.

Aside from Lupino, the other standout actor in the film seemed to be Jack Carson, as his character had much more depth and was much more sympathetic than the usual brash character he played. Also, while their acting wasn't a huge standout, Morgan really belted out some excellent songs and I was surprised to see Leslie dance as well as she did (though I wonder if it really was her doing all the flips--you CAN'T see her face and it could have been a double).

Good, gritty entertainment--it's well worth a look.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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James Agee, Ex Lax, and Joan Leslie jrhpax
'The Hard Way' ....A Great Escape ! preciousmeowme3
Ten Kids!? TopFlight
Released on Warner Brothers Archive Collection! charliebuenfil
Performances SPARKLED! And Who Else Loved Leona Maricle? Schmoozette
Astounded by Leslie's tumbling sequence AnjaValentine
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