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Words And Music

4.1 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

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Special Features

  • Commentary by historian Richard Barrios
  • New featurette
  • Extensive audio outtakes
  • Vintage short
  • Classic cartoon
  • Outtakes: "Lover" and "You're Nearer"
  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: June Allyson, Perry Como, Mickey Rooney, Ann Sothern, Judy Garland
  • Directors: Norman Taurog
  • Writers: Fred F. Finklehoffe
  • Producers: Arthur Freed
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PAAK5A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,539 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Words And Music" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
I never realized what a bundle of energy a youthful Mickey Rooney was. He completely steals the show as musical theatre composer Larry Hart (the other half of Rodgers and Hart). Mr. Rooney brings such exuberance to his role that you actually feel sorry for what his character becomes by the end of the film.
Granted, this is a somewhat fictionalized account of the songwriting partnership of Rodgers and Hart, the film contains many a classic tune and musical number performed by many of the greatest MGM stars, including June Allyson, Perry Como, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, Ann Sothern, Cyd Charisse, Vera-Ellen, and Judy Garland, all making cameo appearences.
Not to be completely outdone by Mr. Rooney, equally impressive are Tom Drake as Richard Rodgers, who was the "solid" one of the partnership, Janet Leigh as Dorothy Rodgers, and Betty Garrett as a girlfriend of Hart.
Anyone who appreciates the pomp and circumstance that MGM put into their musical films will find this film a treat for the senses.
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By A Customer on October 19, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of my favourite musicals. I first saw it in black and white on TV in Melbourne, and loved it, and then bought the MGM Soundtrack on MGM Disc in the 60's, which then was re-released in the 1970's on Polygram.
Forget the plot, it is the musical numbers that are so fresh and exciting even today.
I love Ann Sothern's "Where's That Rainbow" and June Allyson's "Thou Swell", and all the musical numbers.
I loved Garland(even though she appeared frail and unwell). Perry Como with Cyd Charisase "Blue Room" was heaven, and Mountain Greenery with Perry Como. Lena Horne sings the definitive "Lady is a Tramp" and "Where or When" and most underrated Betty Garrett, sings a delightful "Small Hotel". This was musical talent at it's greatest, and to include the "Slaughter Ballet", "On Your Toes Ballet" etc, it is breathtaking. Forget the plot, although Mickey Rooney is a live-wire, and Tom Drake effective as a dull Rodgers, and Janet Leigh as the nice wife.
A must see. The best Composers and the wonderful MGM stars and class.
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Format: VHS Tape
This dramatized biography of Rodgers and Hart is given the glossy MGM treatment, but is none the worse for it. Rodgers and Hart's music is timeless. There are many great performers in this movie such as Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, etc. This movie is not a masterpiece, but the music is superb and that elevates the entire movie. Pleasant viewing.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
Don't watch WORDS AND MUSIC for biographical accuracy; watch it for the musical numbers (they'd be called music videos today). Its book is no more proper than the one concocted for Jerome Kern in TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY. But there are isolated gems: Judy Garland playing grown-up with Mickey Rooney for the first time in their last screen appearance with the sarcastic duet "I Wish I Were In Love Again," as well as the "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue" dance and the massive ballet of "On Your Toes"/"This Can't Be Love." Some productions border on corny, like Perry Como's "Mountain Greenery" or the perenially perky June Allyson singing "Thou Swell," but the wit and charm behind the songs is timeless. This is one of those film enigmas of which you just accept the premise (it never could decide what period of time it's supposed to be set in) and let it wash over you. It still has the charm of Ann Southern and the smolder of Lena Horne and Cyd Charisse- even if its finale is completely melodramatic and hand-wringing!!
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