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Words and Music (1948)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 750 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 14 critic

Fictionalized story of the songwriting partnership of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

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(story), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Title: Words and Music (1948)

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Cast

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Tom Drake ...
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Storyline

Encomium to Larry Hart (1895-1943), seen through the fictive eyes of his song-writing partner, Richard Rodgers (1902-1979): from their first meeting, through lean years and their breakthrough, to their successes on Broadway, London, and Hollywood. We see the fruits of Hart and Rodgers' collaboration - elaborately staged numbers from their plays, characters' visits to night clubs, and impromptu performances at parties. We also see Larry's scattered approach to life, his failed love with Peggy McNeil, his unhappiness, and Richard's successful wooing of Dorothy Feiner. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The BIGGEST musical! See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 December 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ena tragoudi, mia zoi  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,799,970 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cut from the film was the Perry Como rendition of "Lover." However, in the movie trailer, Mr. Como partially sings the waltz. The MGM Studio Orchestra plays "Lover" as the movie's opening credits run. Bonuses on the 2007 DVD, issued by Warner Home Video, include the trailer and footage of Mr. Como's two deleted songs, "Lover" (in a reconstruction of the film's opening) and four takes of "You're Nearer." Audio-only numbers on the DVD include Betty Garrett's complete rendition of "Way Out West (On West End Avenue)," which was shortened in the release print; "My Funny Valentine," sung by Miss Garrett; "My Heart Stood Still" and "I Feel at Home With You," sung by Mr. Como; "Falling in Love With Love," sung by Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen (probably dubbed by Anita Ellis); an extended version of "Manhattan," sung by Mickey Rooney, Tom Drake and Marshall Thompson; plus an extended version of the sequence comprised of "On Your Toes/The Girl Friend/This Can't Be Love," sung by Eileen Wilson (who dubbed Cyd Charisse), Dee Turnell and chorus. See more »

Goofs

During the "Mountain Greenery" song a dancer drops a platter which breaks and scatters food all over the stage. A few seconds later the platter and the food are gone. See more »

Quotes

Peggy Lorgan McNeil: I don't think I quite understand.
Lorenz Hart: You will after you've known me ten or fifteen years.
See more »

Connections

Edited into American Masters: Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Mountain Greenery
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
From the musical "The Garrick Gaieties II" (1926)
Sung by Perry Como
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Watch it for the musical numbers.
10 September 2003 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

I just saw it on TCM, and a fresh viewing of it gives rise to so many ironies regarding the real Lorenz Hart. Many critics have attacked the film because it so clearly ignores the facts. But what mainstream film do *you* know from 1948 that features an openly gay protagonist? When the studio is sweetness-and-light MGM you simply have to buy the premise and move on. (Note through all of Mickey Rooney's pursuit of Betty Garrett, she keeps alluding to 'something' about him that keeps her from marrying him. Foreshadowing?) Rooney, to his credit, seems to go for pathos in his performance but just overacts the role, and winds up making Hart into some kind of wind-up toy about to explode. Later in the film when he's wallowing in loneliness (punctuated in the party sequence with the song "Blue Moon"), the drama is much better. But more than anything else, there are the exhibits of the glorious songs: "Manhattan," "Thou Swell," "Small Hotel," "With A Song In My Heart," a double-bill of Judy Garland alone and with Rooney (the song "I Wish I Were In Love Again" is a standout); "Where Or When" and "The Lady Is A Tramp" given the chanteuse treatment by Lena Horne; "Blue Room" sung by Perry Como and danced (or, more accurately, spun like a top) by hostess Cyd Charisse; and the sexy "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" finale with Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen. Entertainment at its classiest, nothing more or less.


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