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A Song Is Born (1948)

Passed  -  Comedy | Musical  -  19 October 1948 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,439 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 »

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(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)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Professor Magenbruch
...
...
Lionel Hampton ...
Lionel Hampton
Charlie Barnet ...
Charlie Barnet
Mel Powell ...
Mel Powell
Buck and Bubbles ...
Dancers
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
Steve Cochran ...
Tony Crow
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Dr. Elfini
Edit

Storyline

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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Danny's latest is his greatest!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

That's Life  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The music from "The Mocking Bird"/"A Song Is Born" is part of "The New World Symphony" by Antonín Dvorak. It is frequently played and sung under the title "Goin' Home". See more »

Goofs

Just after "Bubbles" finishes his "Bop-bop-a-rebop" routine the camera switches to another view. It is obviously a second take since his mouth is clearly saying 'rebop' but there is no sound. See more »

Quotes

Honey Swanson: Oh, you're cute. Just a little sunlight in my hair and you had to water your neck.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore
(1853) (uncredited)
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Played during the long-haired music session
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable musical comedy (more so if you haven't seen the original)
18 September 1999 | by (Mountain View, Ca.) – See all my reviews

This is a musical remake of the 1940 classic "Ball of Fire". The plot is almost the same, a gangster's moll crashes the residence of a bunch of professors who are writing an encyclopedia, and falls in love the the youngest one. This time they're a musical encyclopedia rather than a generalized one, which allows for a lot of musical numbers, some of them pretty enjoyable. It's a lively, superficial, colorful musical with some laughs to it, if you haven't seen "Ball of Fire" you'll probably have quite a good time.

But the film and especially the performances are vastly inferior to the original. Virginia Mayo is the same as she always was in musical comedies, a sort of generic leading lady/straight man. Danny Kaye is limited by his role, he's playing an uptight nerd and can't use his fabulous manic energy at all for most of the film (Gary Cooper was absolutely hilarious as the uptight nerd in the original, he was one good actor). The supporting performances are all pretty cartoonish, none stand out, but there are appearances by Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, and Lionel Hampton which you might want to catch.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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