Young Man with a Horn (1950)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  9 February 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,960 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 15 critic

A young trumpeter enjoys highs (musical success, fame, and fortune) and lows (sour marriage, death of his mentor, bout with alcoholism).



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Complete credited cast:
Rick Martin
Amy North
Jo Jordan
Willie 'Smoke' Willoughby
Juano Hernandez ...
Art Hazzard
Jerome Cowan ...
Phil Morrison
Marge Martin
Nestor Paiva ...
Louis Galba
Orley Lindgren ...
Rick - as a Boy
Walter Reed ...
Jack Chandler


Aimless youth Rick Martin learns he has a gift for music and falls in love with the trumpet. Legendary trumpeter Art Hazzard takes Rick under his wing and teaches him all he knows about playing. To the exclusion of anything else in life, Rick becomes a star trumpeter, but his volatile personality and desire to play jazz rather than the restricted tunes of the bands he works for lands him in trouble. Written by Jerry Milani <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

friend | trumpeter | band | trumpet | jazz | See All (99) »


A White-Hot Drama about a Red-Hot Jazzman!


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 February 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Jazztrompeter  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie's trio of stars proved to be remarkably long-lived. All were around to celebrate the 64th anniversary of the movie's release. Since then, Lauren Bacall has died but as of August 2014 Kirk Douglas and Doris Day are still alive. See more »


Early in the movie when young Rick Martin is walking on the street, a car pulls up to the intersection. Although it on screen only for a moment, it appears to be late 1940s or early 1950s Hudson. This would match the time that the movie was made but would not be right for a boy who ages 15-20 years to become Rick Martin the man. See more »


Amy: Call me sometime.
Rick Martin: Call ya what?
See more »


Referenced in The Flying Nun: Young Man with a Cornette (1967) See more »


Someone to Watch Over Me
Music by George Gershwin (1926)
Played by "Phil Morrison Orchestra" with Kirk Douglas (dubbed by Harry James)
See more »

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User Reviews

Hollywood Jazz
28 October 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

Once one gets over the strangeness of seeing Kirk Douglas playing the trumpet, this one turns out to be a pretty good movie about an obsessed, self-destructive jazz musician, adapted from Dorothy Baker's novel, which was based on the short, remarkable life of jazzman Bix Biederbeck. Director Michael Curtiz once again shows himself a master of screen biography, albeit highly fictionalized in this case. His flair for capturing urban nightlife is sublime, as he has an intuitive understanding of the lonely moods that city people go through; their sudden changes in fortune, for reasons they scarcely understand; and the inability of anyone, really, to get a grip on modern life.

Miscast as a musician though he is, Douglas is quite good with the darker and more volatile aspects of his character's personality. Lauren Bacall is far less good as his society girl-friend with a lesbian streak, Doris Day marginally better as his True Love. There are some excellent supporting bits by Juano Hernandez and Jerome Cowan. This is overall a satisfying film, too slick for its own good in parts, it's not the best of its director's works, but it's in the high middle range.

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