Biography of songwriter, Broadway pioneer, Jerome Kern. Unable to find immediate success in the USA, Kern sought recognition abroad. He journeyed to England where his dreams of success became real and where he met his future wife Eva.
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Paul Whiteman and Orchestra
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Light bio-pic of American Broadway pioneer Jerome Kern, featuring renditions of the famous songs from his musical plays by contemporary stage artists, including a condensed production of his most famous: 'Showboat'.Written by
Stewart M. Clamen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the release print, Frank Sinatra does not begin "Ol' Man River" (lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) with the verse. However, the verse opens both of Mr. Sinatra's commercial recordings -- the first for Columbia, arranged and conducted by Axel Stordahl, waxed on December 3, 1944, and originally released as a 78-rpm single, which featured on the flip side, "Stormy Weather" (music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Ted Koehler); and Frank's second version for Reprise, arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle, cut on February 18, 1963, and part of "The Concert Sinatra" LP, which has been reissued on an import CD, unveiled by Universal Distribution on November 10, 2009. See more »
After leaving Club Elite in Memphis, Jerome walks to the Mississippi river docks where he is inspired to write the music for Show Boat. The river in the background is flowing in the wrong direction. See more »
[congratulating Jerome Kern on his composing ability]
My boy, you've got a song to sing.
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Jerome Kern is the subject of this biopic that MGM put together as an after thought because even though it's about the great composer's life, little is learned about him. The movie was directed by Richard Whorf as a great spectacle, one in which the magnificent talent employed by the studio is showcased interpreting Mr. Kern's music.
The composer is seen arriving in New York and being referred to a man who is supposed to be the best in arranging songs. The fictitious James Hessler is seen as an influential figure who worked close with Mr. Kern and acted as his mentor and collaborator. By his own admission Mr. Kern was not an exciting figure, but he left behind a body of work that still is vital and has survived the passing of time, as his songs became standards.
The main reason for watching the film is to enjoy the MGM stars doing what they did best, singing and dancing for our benefit. In a spectacular and colorful finale, we are treated to a wonderful production number involving Jerome Kern's best known songs.
Robert Walker's take on the composer makes a bland figure out of Mr. Kern. Van Heflin as Hessler proves to be much better. In the musical numbers we are treated by Lena Horne, June Allison, Tony Martin, Cyd Charisse, Lucille Bremen, Van Johnson, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Angela Lansbury and others.
Although the film doesn't break new ground, it's a wonderful way to catch up with the stars in the background in some great renditions of Jerome Kern's beautiful songs.
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