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A Song Is Born

A Song Is Born

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A Song Is Born, Gangster’s moll Honey Swanson goes into hiding when her boyfriend is under investigation by the police. Where better to hide than a musical research institute staffed entirely by lonely bachelors? She gets more than she bargained for when the head of the institute Professor Hobart Frisbee starts to fall for her.

STARS: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Benny Goodman

113 min | Comedy, Music, Musical | 1948| Color


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One of the best Jam Sessions ever filmed.
Someone said Danny Kaye was a bit subdued for this film, yes, I think Hawks reigned him in a bit. What is surprising is that Kaye does NOT do any of his regular vocal onslaughts: And this film basically a musical too- Well not really a musical, but having music in it. "Wonder Man" was also not a musical, but Kaye does his usual vocal debauchery in it. In this film, we just have his comedic talents, which are just as good to watch.
This film is an almost frame by frame remake of "Ball of Fire" - And so, fans of "Ball of Fire" who compare the two will see how well this is done, even with the major thematic changes made. Some would call this a musical, but it is not really. It is just a film that happens to have music in it. And the music is good, because it it not your usual music written for musicals, with bellowing singers and 150 dancers on a stage set the size of a small aircraft carrier, it is actually something that you can envision happening in a small room in an institution which is pretty much what happens in this film... No big stage productions or fantasy sequences, just plain kick-arse JAZZ.
Some of the really funny gags from the original are missing: Mostly the ones that are based on 1941 Slang. What was important to the story, was kept in, and surprisingly it still fit.
What makes this one of the most interesting films ever made is the assemblage of Jazz Greats, including the incredible Louis Armstrong.
The song "A Song is Born" is about the best song in any "musical" I have heard.

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