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
Four Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart songs from the 1937 Broadway production of "Babes in Arms" which were showcased in this film hadn't been used in the 1939 Rooney-Garland-Busby Berkeley backyard musical. The numbers are: "I Wish I Were in Love Again," a duet by old pals Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in the party sequence; "Johnny One Note," Miss Garland's spirited follow-up at the party; Lena Horne's exuberant "The Lady Is a Tramp," which became a signature song for her; and finally, "Way Out West (On West End Avenue)," a comic ditty sung partially by 'Betty Garrett (I)', whose full prerecording can be found on the soundtrack CD from Sony. See more »
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 »
A sanitized account of the personal lives and professional partnership of Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart. Tom Drake is his usual bland self as Rogers and Mickey Rooney is characteristically over-the-top as the self-destructive, troubled Hart. (According to the film, Hart's problems stemmed from a failed romance with a singer, played here by Betty Garrett. In truth, Hart was gay but this was only part of what contributed to his complicated personality.) The film is notable only for its many musical numbers. Among the highlights: Lena Horne's masterful rendition of "Where or When" and "The Lady is a Tramp"; June Allyson and the Blackburn Twins' charming "Thou Swell"; and Judy Garland and Rooney's spirited "I Wish I Were In Love Again" as well as Garland's dynamic "Johnny One Note". The show-stopper, however, is the brilliant jazz ballet, "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue", choreographed by Gene Kelly and danced expertly by Kelly and the fabulous Vera-Ellen. It, alone, is worth the price of admission.
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