Words and Music 1948
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Words and Music (DVD)
Mickey Rooney, Tom Drake, Betty Garrett, Janet Leigh, and a host of topmusical performers headline this extravagant biographical tribute to theprolific songwriting duo of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. In theearly 1920s, the diminutive Hart (Rooney) teams up with Rodgers (Drake)to launch a successful 24-year music career, penning nearly 500 songswith him until Hart's death in 1943 at the age of 47. Rodgers marrieshis dream girl (Leigh) while Hart pines after Peggy (Garrett),eventually spiraling into depression and death after her rejection. JuneAllyson, Perry Como, Ann Sothern, Mel Tormé, Cyd Charisse, Judy Garland,and Lena Horne are just some of the singing sensations featured. This isthe last movie in which Garland and Rooney appeared together.]]>
- Commentary by historian Richard Barrios
- New featurette
- Extensive audio outtakes
- Vintage short
- Classic cartoon
- Outtakes: "Lover" and "You're Nearer"
- Theatrical trailer
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Now I realise that the real masterpiece to come out of this film was `Slaughter on Tenth Avenue` with Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen. The choreography for this number was the start of the many dances that Gene Kelly designed for the screen, and it was stunning. Some of the best work that he ever did and of course the music was inspiring. Vera-Ellen was also a wonderful dancer. It was a tragedy that her career was cut short by health and family problems. I wonder why this number was not in any of the MGM compilation films that were released in the `That`s Entertainment` films of the seventies.
A continuity mistake. Vera-Ellen, when shot, slides down the stairs and ends with her head on the bottom step. When Gene Kelly picks her up to carry her away, her head is on the floor.
I guess it's the wonderful Rodgers and Hart songs that get me in every time I play this piece. There is the cavalcade of MGM Stars of the era, each doing their bit with the wonderfully witty music/lyrics. Rodgers and Hart were a sophisticated pairing. Mickey Rooney playing the part of Lorenz Hart is a little melodramatic, and overplayed to the hilt. However Rooney makes up for the acting shortcomings when he involves himself in some of the set pieces, especially when partnering with Judy Garland. The set pieces with Lena Horne and June Allyson are a real treat. Two hours of enjoyable indulgence. For musical fans...a real treat.