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Words and Music (1948)

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

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writers:

Guy Bolton (story), Ben Feiner Jr. (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
June Allyson ... June Allyson
Perry Como ... Eddie Lorrison Anders
Judy Garland ... Judy Garland
Lena Horne ... Lena Horne
Gene Kelly ... Gene Kelly
Mickey Rooney ... Lorenz 'Larry' Hart
Ann Sothern ... Joyce Harmon
Tom Drake ... Richard 'Dick' Rodgers
Cyd Charisse ... Margo Grant
Betty Garrett ... Peggy Lorgan McNeil
Janet Leigh ... Dorothy Feiner
Marshall Thompson ... Herbert Fields
Mel Tormé ... Mel Tormé (as Mel Torme)
Vera-Ellen ... Vera-Ellen
Jeanette Nolan ... Mrs. Hart
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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:

22 Terrific Rodgers and Hart Tunes! 2 Exciting Love Stories! 5 Great Broadway Musicals Rolled Into One! 14 Spectacular Girl-Filled Production Scenes! 14 Sensational Singing and Dancing Stars! and Color by Technicolor See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ena tragoudi, mia zoi See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,799,970 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the movie Lorenz Hart (Mickey Rooney) is upset over being short. In real life he battled homosexuality which was very much looked down on at the time. Since they could not show this in the film they substituted his shortness as the source of his misery. See more »

Goofs

When Judy is singing "Johnny One Note," and gets to the line "... and hear the drum," it is obvious that the snare drummer is not playing what we are hearing. See more »

Quotes

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

Features Camille (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue
Music by Richard Rodgers
From the musical "On Your Toes" (1936)
Danced by Gene Kelly, Vera-Ellen, and uncredited dancers
Performed by The MGM Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lennie Hayton
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
THE BEST OF MGM'S ALL-STAR MUSICALS
3 September 1999 | by frasuerSee all my reviews

During the 1940's, MGM produced a number of All-Star musicals. The most notable being The Ziegfeld Follies, Till the Clouds Roll By, and Words and Music. The Ziegfeld film is most remembered for its comedy routines: Fanny Brice, Red Skelton, Victor Moore, and Judy Garland's satirical "The Great Lady Gives an Interview". The other two films are idealized biographies of Jerome Kern ("Clouds") and Rodgers and Hart ("Words"), of which the latter is far and away the more entertaining. The Kern film followed closely on the death of the revered composer and is too respectful for its own good. "Words and Music", on the other hand, benefits greatly from the presence of Mickey Rooney (as Larry Hart) and the always delightful Betty Garrett. But, most of all, it's the wide variety of songs that Rodgers and Hart produced that make it such a joy to watch. From June Allyson's lively "Thou Swell" (a highlight in her career) to the dramatic "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" ballet with Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen (a forerunner of the sensual ballet's that Kelly performed in "An American in Paris" and "Singing in the Rain". And of course, there's the wonderful (and final) teaming of Rooney and Judy Garland (the amusing "I Wish I Were in Love Again").

From beginning to end, this is the best of MGM. Don't miss it.


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