6.5/10
1,043
41 user 17 critic

Words and Music (1948)

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 »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Summer Stock (1950)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small-town farmer, down on her luck, finds her homestead invaded by a theatrical troupe invited to stay by her ne'er-do-well sister.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Eddie Bracken
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The late, great impresario Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. 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
Musical | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two vaudeville performers fall in love, but find their relationship tested by the arrival of WWI.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Judy Garland, George Murphy, Gene Kelly
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Stars: Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse
Certificate: Passed Biography | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

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.

Directors: Richard Whorf, Vincente Minnelli, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Walker, Van Heflin, Lucille Bremer
The Pirate (1948)
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 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 6.8/10 X  

Two turn-of-the-century baseball players, who work in vaudeville during the off-season, run into trouble with their team's new female owner and a gambler who doesn't want them to win the pennant.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

It's turn of the century America when Andrew and Veronica first meet - by crashing into each other. They develop an instant and mutual dislike which intensifies when, later on, Andrew is ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Judy Garland, Van Johnson, S.Z. Sakall
Easter Parade (1948)
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Peter Lawford
Les Girls (1957)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After writing a tell-all book about her days in the dance troupe "Barry Nichols and Les Girls", Sybil Wren (Kay Kendall) is sued for libeling her fellow dancer Angele (Taina Elg). A Rash&... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall
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
Comedy | Musical | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Edit

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
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:

14 Stars! 22 Songs! 2 Love Stories! 14 Spectacular Scenes! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ena tragoudi, mia zoi See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Betty Garrett's acting debut. See more »

Goofs

Perry Como plays a singer Eddie Anders throughout the movie but at the end, during the memorial service for Hart, he is introduced as Perry Como when he comes on to sing the final song at the tribute. See more »

Quotes

Richard 'Dick' 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

Features Camille (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lady Is a Tramp
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
From the musical "Babes in Arms" (1937)
Performed by Lena Horne
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Musical Moments Salvage Weak, Inaccurate Story and Dialogue
13 August 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee 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


41 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 41 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed