Light bio-pic of American Broadway pioneer Jerome Kern, featuring renditions of the famous songs from his musical plays by contemporary stage artists, including a condensed production of ... See full summary »
Light bio-pic of American Broadway pioneer Jerome Kern, featuring renditions of the famous songs from his musical plays by contemporary stage artists, including a condensed production of his most famous: 'Showboat'. Written by
Stewart M. Clamen <email@example.com>
Tony Martin, already identified, via his December 19, 1939 Decca recording, with the incomparable ballad, "All the Things You Are" (lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II ), waxed another version for Mercury around the time of the film's Manhattan debut. Mercury paired Tony's remake with his solo of "Make Believe" (lyrics by Hammerstein) on a 78-rpm single. The MGM Records soundtrack album featured, as part of the "Show Boat" medley, Tony singing "Who Cares If My Boat Goes Up Stream?" (lyrics by Hammerstein) and a Martin-Kathryn Grayson duet of "Make Believe." On CD, Tony's one Decca side has a place on "Hear My Song" from the British label Flare in 1999; his two recordings from December 21, 1946 (first issued on a single one full year later) count among "The Best of Tony Martin: The Mercury Years," issued in 1996; and all of his movie vocals are contained on film-score releases from Sony in 1992 and then by The Soundtrack Factory, a Spanish label, in 2000. See more »
When Kern goes to see Sally at Club Elite in Memphis, he hasn't written Show Boat yet. Therefore, it would be before 1927. However, the song she performs with Van Johnson, "I Won't Dance", wasn't written by Kern until 1935. See more »
[congratulating Jerome Kern on his composing ability]
My boy, you've got a song to sing.
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Jerome Kern is the subject of this biopic that MGM put together as an after thought because even though it's about the great composer's life, little is learned about him. The movie was directed by Richard Whorf as a great spectacle, one in which the magnificent talent employed by the studio is showcased interpreting Mr. Kern's music.
The composer is seen arriving in New York and being referred to a man who is supposed to be the best in arranging songs. The fictitious James Hessler is seen as an influential figure who worked close with Mr. Kern and acted as his mentor and collaborator. By his own admission Mr. Kern was not an exciting figure, but he left behind a body of work that still is vital and has survived the passing of time, as his songs became standards.
The main reason for watching the film is to enjoy the MGM stars doing what they did best, singing and dancing for our benefit. In a spectacular and colorful finale, we are treated to a wonderful production number involving Jerome Kern's best known songs.
Robert Walker's take on the composer makes a bland figure out of Mr. Kern. Van Heflin as Hessler proves to be much better. In the musical numbers we are treated by Lena Horne, June Allison, Tony Martin, Cyd Charisse, Lucille Bremen, Van Johnson, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Angela Lansbury and others.
Although the film doesn't break new ground, it's a wonderful way to catch up with the stars in the background in some great renditions of Jerome Kern's beautiful songs.
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