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A Song Is Born (1948)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Musical  |  19 October 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,522 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 17 critic

Gangster's moll Honey Swanson goes into hiding when her boyfriend is under investigation by the police. Where better to hide than a musical research institute staffed entirely by lonely ... See full summary »



(based on the story "From A to Z" by), (based on the story "From A to Z" by), 2 more credits »
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Title: A Song Is Born (1948)

A Song Is Born (1948) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lionel Hampton ...
Lionel Hampton
Charlie Barnet ...
Charlie Barnet
Mel Powell ...
Mel Powell
Buck and Bubbles ...
Page Cavanaugh Trio ...
Cavanaugh Trio (as The Page Cavanaugh Trio)
The Golden Gate Quartette ...
Golden Gate Quartette (as The Golden Gate Quartet)
Samba Kings ...
The Samba Kings (as Russo and the Samba Kings)
Professor Twingle
Tony Crow
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Dr. Elfini


Gangster's moll Honey Swanson goes into hiding when her boyfriend is under investigation by the police. Where better to hide than a musical research institute staffed entirely by lonely bachelors? She gets more than she bargained for when the head of the institute Professor Hobart Frisbee starts to fall for her. Written by Col Needham <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Danny's latest is his greatest!


Comedy | Musical


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 October 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

That's Life  »

Box Office


$2,400,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo and Steve Cochran had previously starred together in The Kid from Brooklyn (1946) See more »


At one point, during the last musical session when the two gangsters are holding everyone captive, the wires making the drum jump up and down can be seen. See more »


Honey Swanson: [about Frisbee] Yes, I love him. I love those hick shirts he wears with the boiled collars and the way he always has his coat buttoned wrong. It looks like a giraffe, and I love him. I love him because he's the sort of a guy that gets drunk on a glass of buttermilk. And I love the way he blushes right up over his ears. I love him because he... he doesn't know how to kiss, the jerk.
See more »


Referenced in Superman II: Restoring the Vision (2006) See more »


Music by Gene de Paul
Lyrics by Don Raye
Sung by Virginia Mayo (uncredited) (dubbed by Jeri Sullavan (uncredited))
and The Page Cavanaugh Trio (uncredited)
Played often as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

Swing and Sway with Danny Kaye
18 December 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I'm truly dating myself but back in the swing days there was a bandleader named Sammy Kaye who used that as his band's slogan. Otherwise my title would have been the tag line for this film.

It was only seven years earlier that the original film, Ball of Fire also came from the Sam Goldwyn Studio. In that one Gary Cooper was one of several professors who were putting together an encyclopedia. His specialty was linguistics and he selected Barbara Stanwyck to help in learn new slang terms.

Here it's a musical encyclopedia and Virginia Mayo stumbles into the lives of the sheltered professors putting this history together. They've led such a cloistered existence that the whole jazz era has passed them by. So Kaye in the Cooper role and another professor played by Benny Goodman with Mayo get some of the best to help them along.

A Song is Born is a pleasant although a previous reviewer is correct in saying that Danny Kaye is far more subdued than usual in this film. But anytime you can get Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Barnet, and Mel Powell together for a jam session, the film automatically becomes worthwhile.

This is for every fan of jazz in the world.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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