With a Song in My Heart
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWalter Lang
Written byLamar Trotti
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyLeon Shamroy
Edited byJ. Watson Webb Jr.
Music byAlfred Newman
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • April 4, 1952 (1952-04-04) (United States)
Running time
117 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$3.2 million[1][2]

With a Song in My Heart is a 1952 American biographical musical drama film that tells the story of actress and singer Jane Froman, who was crippled by an airplane crash on February 22, 1943, when the Boeing 314 Pan American Clipper flying boat she was on suffered a crash landing in the Tagus River near Lisbon, Portugal. She entertained the troops in World War II despite having to walk with crutches. The film stars Susan Hayward, Rory Calhoun, David Wayne, Thelma Ritter, Robert Wagner, Helen Westcott, and Una Merkel. Froman herself supplied Hayward's singing voice.

The film was written and produced by Lamar Trotti and directed by Walter Lang. The title song, "With a Song in My Heart" (Rodgers and Hart, 1929), became famous in the United Kingdom as the theme to the long-running BBC radio show Family Favourites.

Plot

Jane Froman (Susan Hayward) is a humble staff singer at a Cincinnati radio station, but in no time she rises to the uppermost rungs of network radio fame. Jane gratefully marries her agent Don Ross (David Wayne), but soon both realize they're not truly in love. Jane's popularity soars, and she leaves on a European tour. When her plane crashes, she is partially crippled. Unable to walk without crutches, she nonetheless goes on to entertain U.S. troops during World War II.

Cast

Singing groups the Four Girl Friends, the Modernaires, the Melody Men, the Skylarks, and the Starlighters appear in the film.[3]

Production

The rights to Jane Froman's life story were sought by a variety of production companies, including MGM, Warner Bros, Sam Goldwyn, 20th Century Fox, and Wald-Krasna (at RKO).[4] In September 1950 Fox announced that Lamar Trotti would write and produce The Jane Froman Story.[5][6] Froman says she decided to go with Fox after talking to Trotti even though MGM offered $25,000 more. She says the price paid was "mid six figures".[4]

In March 1951 Fox announced that the male leads would be played by David Wayne and Dale Robertson and that the film would be called I'll See You in My Dreams.[7] In April 1951, Jean Peters was announced as the star.[8] In May, the lead went to Susan Hayward.[9]

The title was changed to You, the Night and the Music.[10] Rory Calhoun replaced Robertson in June.[11]

In July 1951 Robert Wagner was added to the cast.[12]

Joyce MacKenzie was cast as the woman (in reality singer and actress Tamara Drasin, who died in the crash) who took Froman's seat.[13]

Froman acted as technical adviser, but refused to watch the sequence involving the airplane crash.[14]

Soundtrack recording

As per the times, the soundtrack album for With a Song in My Heart was a studio recording, and it initially included eight songs and a shorter version of the "American Medley" sung by Jane Froman, with a short orchestral introduction by George Greeley, who conducted the orchestra and chorus. The Capitol Records album was released in multiple formats: Capitol L-309 (LP), DDN-309 (4 record 78rpm-Box Set); KDF-309 (4 record 45rpm singles Box-Set); and FBF-309 (2 EP Box-set).[15] This album was the best-selling album of 1952 and spent 25 weeks at the top of the Billboard chart.[16] Jane Froman also released a single of the title song with Capitol Records.

Reception

The film was a box office success. Wagner's small role received a lot of acclaim, resulting in 3,000 fan letters a week arriving at the studio – this encouraged Fox to build him up as a star.[17]

Awards and honors

Award Category Nominee Result
25th Academy Awards Best Actress Susan Hayward Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Thelma Ritter Nominated
Best Costume Design, Color Charles LeMaire Nominated
Best Sound Recording Thomas T. Moulton Nominated
Best Scoring of a Musical Picture Alfred Newman Won
10th Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Lamar Trotti Won
Best Actress — Comedy or Musical Susan Hayward Won
Writers Guild of America Awards Best Written Musical Lamar Trotti Nominated

The film was also nominated for inclusion on AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers list of the most inspiring films in American film history, but did not make the final list.

Soundtrack songs from the film

Although the film won the Academy Award for the Best Original Score, there were a number of American standards represented. All except three songs featured the voice of Jane Froman; and were performed by Susan Hayward.[18]

Songs included in an "American Medley"

References

  1. ^ Solomon, Aubrey (1989). Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History. The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1.
  2. ^ "Top Box-Office Hits of 1952". Variety. January 7, 1953. ISSN 0042-2738.
  3. ^ "With A Song In My Heart (1952)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Weiler, A.H. (October 1, 1950). "By Way of Report: The Clutching-Hand Murderous-Mood. School of Melodrama Is in Session Again on Local Screens". The New York Times. p. 113.
  5. ^ Scheuer, Philip K. (September 18, 1950). "Korean 'Operation O' Rushed by RKO Studio; Jane Froman Storied". Los Angeles Times. p. B9.
  6. ^ "Fox to Film Life of Jane Froman: Trotti Will Produce Picture Telling of Singer's Struggle After 1943 Plane Crash". The New York Times. September 18, 1950. p. 19.
  7. ^ Hopper, Hedda (May 4, 1951). "David Wayne Gets Role in Movie Life Story of Singer Jane Froman: Looking at Hollywood...". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. a6.
  8. ^ "Studio Briefs". Los Angeles Times. April 25, 1951. p. A7.
  9. ^ "Drama: Beverly Tyler Lead With Audie Murphy". Los Angeles Timesc. May 3, 1951. p. A8.
  10. ^ Hopper, Hedda (May 23, 1951). "Thelma Ritter Goes Into Jane Froman Story: Looking at Hollywood". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. b4.
  11. ^ Hopper, Hedda (June 6, 1951). "Cummings to Revive 'Of Thee I Sing' on Stage: Looking at Hollywood". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. b5.
  12. ^ "Of Local Origin". New York Times. July 5, 1951. p. 21.
  13. ^ Schallert, Edwin (June 23, 1951). "Drama: Wechsler Will Produce 'Anne;' Heston and Wife Named Play Principals". Los Angeles Times. p. 9.
  14. ^ "Drama: Role in Metro's 'Jumbo' on O'Connor Schedule". Los Angeles Times. August 17, 1951. p. 16.
  15. ^ Capitol Album Discography
  16. ^ Allmusic.com
  17. ^ Hopper, Hedda (January 25, 1953). "Dad Relaxes, Lets Wagner Be a Star: Actor Forges Through Trifling Roles to Emerge Most Promising Juvenile". Los Angeles Times. p. D3.
  18. ^ Soundtracks from Film, IMDb