MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,964 this week

Words and Music (1948)

6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 760 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 14 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(story), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 29 titles
created 29 Jan 2012
 
a list of 1178 titles
created 29 Mar 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 07 Jul 2013
 
a list of 429 titles
created 25 Mar 2014
 
a list of 4859 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Words and Music" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Words and Music (1948)

Words and Music (1948) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Words and Music.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The late, great impresario Florenz Ziegfeld looks down from heaven and ordains a new revue in his grand old style.

Directors: Lemuel Ayers, Roy Del Ruth, and 5 more credits »
Stars: William Powell, Judy Garland, Lucille Ball
The Pirate (1948)
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A girl is engaged to the local richman, but meanwhile she has dreams about the legendary pirate Macoco. A traveling singer falls in love with her and to impress her he poses as the pirate.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Walter Slezak
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Wolves baseball team gets steamed when they find they've been inherited by one K.C. Higgins, a suspected "fathead" who intends to take an active interest in running the team. But K.C. ... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly
Girl Crazy (1943)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Rich kid Danny Churchill (Rooney) has a taste for wine, women and song, but not for higher education. So his father ships him to an all-male college out West where there's not supposed to ... See full summary »

Directors: Norman Taurog, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Gil Stratton
Comedy | Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On a train trip West to become a mail order bride Susan Bradley meets a cheery crew of young women traveling out to open a " Harvey House " restaurant at a remote whistle stop to provide ... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, John Hodiak
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Talented small-town girl Lily Mars hounds producer John Thornway for a part in his new play, but he doesn't want anything to do with stage-struck amateurs. But when Lily follows him to New ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Judy Garland, Van Heflin, Fay Bainter
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three soldiers meet 10 years after their last meeting in New York again, and find out, that they have litte in common now.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tommy Williams desperately wants to get to Broadway, but as he is only singing in a spaghetti house for tips he is a long way off. He meets Penny Morris, herself no mean singer, and through... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Fay Bainter
Lady Be Good (1941)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Songwriters Dixie Donegan and Eddie Crane are still in love after their divorce. Dixie's friend Marilyn Marsh tries to convince them to marry again, but this isn't that easy.

Directors: Norman Z. McLeod, Busby Berkeley
Stars: Eleanor Powell, Ann Sothern, Robert Young
The Clock (1945)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Soldier Joe Allen is on a two-day leave in New York, and there he meets Alice. She agrees to show him the sights and they spend the day together. In this short time they find themselves ... See full summary »

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Judy Garland, Robert Walker, James Gleason
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jimmy Connors and his girl-friend want to take part in Paul Whiteman's highschool's band contest, but they cannot afford the fare. But per chance the meet Paul Whiteman in person and are ... See full summary »

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Z. Leonard, Busby Berkeley
Stars: James Stewart, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Perry Como ...
...
...
...
...
...
Tom Drake ...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Edit

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:

M-G-M's Color By Technicolor See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

After an opening chorus "Oooo's" and "Ahhh's" to the music of the song, "Lover," Tom Drake says, "You have just heard some words and music written by Rodgers and Hart," even though we have heard no words. See more »

Quotes

Richard Rodgers: That was really black Sunday for me. Shut out twice. Once because I was too young, once because I was too old.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Thou Swell
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
From the musical "A Connecticut Yankee" (1927)
Performed by June Allyson, Ramon Blackburn and Royce Blackburn (dubbed by Pete Roberts and Eugene Cox)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Musical Moments Salvage Weak, Inaccurate Story and Dialogue
13 August 2005 | by (Biloxi, Mississippi) – See all my reviews

To describe the 1948 WORDS AND MUSIC as a "whitewashed" version of the famous song-writing team Rogers and Hart is a gross understatement. Lorenz Hart (1895-1943) was a homosexual in an era when such was flatly unacceptable; the pressures of the closet drove him into a wildly self-destructive alcoholism that ultimately killed him. Richard Rogers (1902-1979)was Hart's polar opposite, a highly disciplined individual who had zero tolerance for Hart's extremes. Their friendship and working relation was stormy, to say the least.

Needless to say, there was no way on earth that 1940s Hollywood could approach these facts. What we get instead is the story of the brilliant but glitchy Hart (Mickey Rooney) who is disappointed in love by singer Peggy McNeil (Betty Garrett), never gets over it, and falls apart as Rogers (Tom Drake) and his wife Dorothy (Janet Leigh) look on in dismay. It's pretty much a lot of pap, but fortunately for all concerned the movie gives us a lot of music along the way.

Most of the music is the form of cameos by a wash of MGM's musical stars. Perry Como has unexpected screen presence; Lena Horne, saddled with the excessive gesticulation and odd costumes typically inflicted upon her during her Hollywood years, still manages to give truly memorable performances of "Where or When" and "The Lady Is A Tramp;" June Allyson does a charming "Thou Swell;" Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen offer a memorable version of the jazz ballet "Slaughter on 10th Avenue." Other notables include Anne Southern, Cyd Charisse, and Mel Torme.

The big noise among the cameos is Judy Garland, who was battling MGM over withheld salary at the time and finally agreed to do two numbers to even out what the studio said she owed them. The result would be the final pairing of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in a motion picture, the two performing a charming duet of "I Wish I Were In Love Again," with Rooney clearly trying to break Garland up--and often succeeding. It's tremendous fun and followed by Garland's hard-belting and equally enjoyable "Johnny One Note."

Cameos aside, the primary cast is quite good with Rooney a stand out as Hart; one wonders at what performance he might have given if the script had been a no-holds-barred account. Granted, WORDS AND MUSIC is the sort film you watch for the musical moments rather than the plot--but when all is said and done it does what it does extremely well. Recommended, but primarily for musical fans.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


33 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Camille, a silent? Dfree52
Hey! frockin_boots
Who was she? john-hcroft4
DVD Release K6pzw
Why this is a good film dmnemaine
Gower Champion in dance number Sheila_Beers
Discuss Words and Music (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page