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Young Man with a Horn (1950)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Music | 1 March 1950 (USA)
A young trumpeter enjoys highs (musical success, fame, and fortune) and lows (sour marriage, death of his mentor, bout with alcoholism).

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Carl Foreman (screenplay), Edmund H. North (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kirk Douglas ... Rick Martin
Lauren Bacall ... Amy North
Doris Day ... Jo Jordan
Hoagy Carmichael ... Willie 'Smoke' Willoughby
Juano Hernandez ... Art Hazzard
Jerome Cowan ... Phil Morrison
Mary Beth Hughes ... Marge Martin
Nestor Paiva ... Louis Galba
Orley Lindgren ... Rick - as a Boy
Walter Reed ... Jack Chandler
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Storyline

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 <jmilani@ix.netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FROM THE BLAZING BEST-SELLER, A PICTURE WITH A WALLOP...FROM WARNER BROS. See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Jazztrompeter See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

At least three times you can see trumpeters using mutes different from those on the soundtrack. For example, in the Christmas Eve scene Rick is shown using a Harmon mute and Harry James' dub of the tune is with a cup mute. See more »

Goofs

When a young Rick Martin is looking out the rear window of the car as it drives away from the cemetery, a light or reflector and its articulated stand is clearly reflected on the glass. See more »

Quotes

Jo Jordan: Can I lend you some money?
Rick Martin: Wouldn't know what to do with it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Kirk Douglas: Before I Forget (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Chinatown, My Chinatown
(uncredited)
Music by Jean Schwartz (1910)
Used instrumentally
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This trumpet is part of me, the best part!
25 August 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Young Man With A Horn is inspired by the sad life of jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke, a sad life because Bix would succumb to alcoholism and pass away at the age of 28.

Rick Martin (Kirk Douglas) is the fictional character of the piece, the film is told in flashbacks of Martin's life through the nostalgic reminiscence of pianist Smoke Willoughby (Hoagy Carmichael).

Young Man With A Horn is very much a film of three parts, the first half firmly establishes Rick's love of music from an early age, his tutelage under mentor Art Hazzard (Juan Hernandez) is fully formed and completely fleshes out Rick's character. We are then privy to the middle part of his life as he forms a bond with Smoke and band singer Jo Jordon (an ebullient and charming Doris Day), Rick is happy, his love of music taking priority over outside interests, but then Amy North (a swishing Lauren Bacall) enters his life, and here the film switches firmly into a melodramatic piece, it's a switch that pays off as the end credit looms large.

The directing from Michael Curtiz is as you would expect very tight to the drama, and the photography from Ted McCord captures the smoke filled nature of jazz clubs perfectly. The acting from the cast principals is never less than above average. Some may find it hard to accept Kirk Douglas in the leading role, and certainly at first glance he looks oddly out of place with a trumpet at his lips, but he studied under trumpeter Larry Sullivan and convinces as a viable trumpet player (the actual music is dubbed by Harry James). The music of course is excellent, and as long as one is prepared for the melodramatic turn of events, this is a very rewarding piece. The proviso though is that you remember that this is far from being a true biographical story of the tragic Bix Beiderbecke. 8/10


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