7.1/10
1,647
26 user 15 critic

A Song Is Born (1948)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 19 October 1948 (USA)
With her gangster boyfriend under investigation by the police, a moll hides out in a musical research institution staffed by bachelor professors - one of whom begins to fall for her.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the story "From A to Z" by), (based on the story "From A to Z" by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Lionel Hampton ...
Lionel Hampton
Charlie Barnet ...
Charlie Barnet
Mel Powell ...
Mel Powell
Buck and Bubbles ...
Dancers
...
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
...
Dr. Elfini
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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:

 »
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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

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

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Professor Hobart Frisbee: [to Miss Bragg, after she has summoned a cab for Honey Swanson] It's all yours, Crabapple Annie!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Sweet Genevieve
(1869) (uncredited)
Music by Henry Tucker
Lyrics by George Cooper
Sung a cappella by all the professors
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.


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