With a Song in My Heart (1952)

116-117 mins | Biography, Musical | April 1952

Director:

Walter Lang

Writer:

Lamar Trotti

Producer:

Lamar Trotti

Cinematographer:

Leon Shamroy

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Joseph C. Wright

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were The Jane Froman Story , The Froman Story , Stardust , I'll See You in My Dreams and You and the Night and the Music . After the film's opening credits, a written foreword states, "This is a true story--the story of a girl and the story of a voice. The girl is Jane Froman, the voice is her own." Throughout the film, intermittent narration by Rory Calhoun, David Wayne and Thelma Ritter is heard as their characters describe their experiences with "Jane." At the end of the film, Jane sings a medley of songs with the soldiers, including "Deep in the Heart of Texas," "Give My Regards to Broadway," "California, Here I Come," "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny," "Chicago," "Maine Stein Song," "Back Home in Indiana," "Alabamy Bound" and "Dixie."
       The film is based on the life of popular singer and actress Jane Froman (1907--1980), who was seriously injured in a plane crash in Feb 1943, while she was on her way to entertain Allied troops in Europe. After more than twenty-five operations, Froman regained use of her legs and continued her successful career. [In the picture, it is stated that Froman's right leg was the one almost severed, but in a Mar 1952 The American Weekly article written by Froman, she related that it was her left leg which she almost lost.] As depicted in the film, John Burn was a co-pilot on the ill-fated flight, and held Froman afloat for forty-five minutes until they were both rescued. Froman divorced her first husband, comedian Don Ross ... More Less

The working titles of this film were The Jane Froman Story , The Froman Story , Stardust , I'll See You in My Dreams and You and the Night and the Music . After the film's opening credits, a written foreword states, "This is a true story--the story of a girl and the story of a voice. The girl is Jane Froman, the voice is her own." Throughout the film, intermittent narration by Rory Calhoun, David Wayne and Thelma Ritter is heard as their characters describe their experiences with "Jane." At the end of the film, Jane sings a medley of songs with the soldiers, including "Deep in the Heart of Texas," "Give My Regards to Broadway," "California, Here I Come," "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny," "Chicago," "Maine Stein Song," "Back Home in Indiana," "Alabamy Bound" and "Dixie."
       The film is based on the life of popular singer and actress Jane Froman (1907--1980), who was seriously injured in a plane crash in Feb 1943, while she was on her way to entertain Allied troops in Europe. After more than twenty-five operations, Froman regained use of her legs and continued her successful career. [In the picture, it is stated that Froman's right leg was the one almost severed, but in a Mar 1952 The American Weekly article written by Froman, she related that it was her left leg which she almost lost.] As depicted in the film, John Burn was a co-pilot on the ill-fated flight, and held Froman afloat for forty-five minutes until they were both rescued. Froman divorced her first husband, comedian Don Ross to marry Burn in 1948, but they, too, divorced eight years later. Reviews of With a Song in My Heart noted that, ironically, Burn survived another plane crash on 11 Apr 1952, the day the film opened in Los Angeles. [Although studio publicity reported that the character of "Clancy," played by Thelma Ritter, was fictitious, the character of the wounded paratrooper, played by Robert Wagner, was based on a real soldier, according to a Nov 1953 SEP column.]
       An Oct 1950 NYT article reported that M-G-M, Warner Bros., Wald-Krasna and Samuel Goldwyn were among the studios and producers bidding for the rights to Froman's story, but after meeting with producer Lamar Trotti, Froman decided to sell the rights to Twentieth Century-Fox. In mid-Apr 1951, HR announced that Jeanne Crain had been set for the leading role, but according to a modern source, Froman preferred Susan Hayward, who resembled and sounded like her. Froman pre-recorded the songs for the picture herself, with Hayward lip-synching to the playback. According to Jun 1951 HR news items, Dale Robertson was originally cast as "John Burn," but was replaced by Rory Calhoun after being cast in Lydia Bailey (see above). Although HR news items include the following actors in the cast, their appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed: Joyce MacKenzie, Mae Johnson, Warren Mace, Phil Sylvester, Geraldine Farnum, Merry Anders and Joan Caton. Other HR news items noted that dance director Billy Daniel was originally set to be Hayward's dance partner during "The Right Kind" number, but after he fractured his foot during rehearsals, he was replaced by Richard Allan. Actor Max Showalter changed his name to Casey Adams after finishing production on the picture, and although a Dec 1951 HR news item reported that the studio had paid $1,650 to change the film's opening credits to include his new name, he was listed as Showalter on the viewed print.
       With a Song in My Heart , which received mostly glowing reviews, won an Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture and was nominated for a Best Musical/Comedy Golden Globe award. Ritter received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and Hayward received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy. On 9 Feb 1953, Lux Radio Theatre broadcast a version of the story starring Hayward, Calhoun, Ritter and David Wayne, with Froman again singing the songs. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 Feb 1952.
---
Box Office
10 May 1952.
---
Daily Variety
20 Feb 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
20 Feb 52
p. 6.
Hollywood Citizen-News
11 Apr 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 50
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 51
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jun 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 51
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 51
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 1951
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jul 51
p. 8, 10.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Aug 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Feb 52
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Feb 52
p. 2.
Los Angeles Daily News
12 Apr 1952.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Feb 52
p. 1245.
New York Times
1 Oct 1950.
---
New York Times
3 Apr 52
p. 45.
New York Times
5 Apr 52
p. 20.
Saturday Review
3 May 1952.
---
The American Weekly
30 Mar 52
p. 13, 27.
The Saturday Evening Post
14 Nov 1953.
---
Time
7 Apr 1952.
---
Variety
20 Feb 52
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Max Showalter
George Offerman
John Duncan
William Baldwin
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
MUSIC
Mus dir
Vocal dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Tech adv
David Wayne's piano instructor
STAND INS
Singing voice double for Susan Hayward
Vocal stand-in for Richard Allan
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"Montparnase," music by Alfred Newman, lyrics by Eliot Daniel
"Jim's Toasty Peanuts," music and lyrics by Ken Darby
"With a Song in My Heart" and "Blue Moon," music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart
+
SONGS
"Montparnase," music by Alfred Newman, lyrics by Eliot Daniel
"Jim's Toasty Peanuts," music and lyrics by Ken Darby
"With a Song in My Heart" and "Blue Moon," music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart
"Tea for Two," music by Vincent Youmans, lyrics by Irving Caesar
"Embraceable You," music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin
"They're Either Too Young or Too Old," music by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics by Frank Loesser
"Get Happy," music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Ted Koehler
"I'll Walk Alone," music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Cahn
"That Old Feeling," music and lyrics by Lew Brown and Sammy Fain
"It's a Good Day," music and lyrics by Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour
"I've Got a Feeling You're Fooling," music and lyrics by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown
"On the Gay White Way," music and lyrics by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger
"I'm Through with Love," music by Matt Malneck and Fred Livingston, lyrics by Gus Kahn
"Hoe That Corn," music and lyrics by Max Showalter
"America, the Beautiful," music by Samuel Augustus Ward, lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
I'll See You in My Dreams
Stardust
The Froman Story
The Jane Froman Story
You and the Night and the Music
Release Date:
April 1952
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Miami, FL: 20 February 1952
New York opening: 3 April 1952
Los Angeles opening: 11 April 1952
Production Date:
18 June--23 August 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
4 April 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1801
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
116-117
Length(in feet):
10,504
Length(in reels):
13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15375
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the night of the annual New York newspapermen's ball, singer Jane Froman is honored as "the most courageous entertainer of the year." As Jane sings, John Burn, who is sitting at her table, remembers her rise to fame: In the mid-1930s, Jane rushes into a Cincinnati radio station to audition for a job. The tardy Jane has missed the audition, however, and mistakes vaudevillian Don Ross for the station manager. Impressed by Jane's lovely voice, Don persuades the real manager to listen to her, and soon Jane is performing as the station's staff singer then undertakes a series of personal appearances. Don, who often appears at the same theaters, is not as successful, but helps to maintain the momentum of Jane's career. As time passes, Don acts exclusively as Jane's manager as she becomes a hit in New York nightclubs. Eventually, Jane is selected as radio's "number one girl singer," while Don realizes that his career in show business is over. In love with Jane, Don presses her to marry him, but although Jane is grateful for his help, she is not in love with him. Don finally wears Jane down, however, and the couple marry. During their honeymoon in California, Jane appears in a movie, then skyrockets to even greater fame through her records and nightclub engagements. Jealous of Jane's career and feeling unproductive, Don provokes quarrels with her, although she offers to quit entertaining and focus on their marriage. Don refuses to let Jane make such a sacrifice, however, and the couple struggle to improve their relationship. After the United States enters World War II, Jane ... +


On the night of the annual New York newspapermen's ball, singer Jane Froman is honored as "the most courageous entertainer of the year." As Jane sings, John Burn, who is sitting at her table, remembers her rise to fame: In the mid-1930s, Jane rushes into a Cincinnati radio station to audition for a job. The tardy Jane has missed the audition, however, and mistakes vaudevillian Don Ross for the station manager. Impressed by Jane's lovely voice, Don persuades the real manager to listen to her, and soon Jane is performing as the station's staff singer then undertakes a series of personal appearances. Don, who often appears at the same theaters, is not as successful, but helps to maintain the momentum of Jane's career. As time passes, Don acts exclusively as Jane's manager as she becomes a hit in New York nightclubs. Eventually, Jane is selected as radio's "number one girl singer," while Don realizes that his career in show business is over. In love with Jane, Don presses her to marry him, but although Jane is grateful for his help, she is not in love with him. Don finally wears Jane down, however, and the couple marry. During their honeymoon in California, Jane appears in a movie, then skyrockets to even greater fame through her records and nightclub engagements. Jealous of Jane's career and feeling unproductive, Don provokes quarrels with her, although she offers to quit entertaining and focus on their marriage. Don refuses to let Jane make such a sacrifice, however, and the couple struggle to improve their relationship. After the United States enters World War II, Jane applies to the USO to be sent overseas, and in February 1943, she is notified that she will be leaving for Europe the next day. During the long flight to London via Bermuda and Lisbon, Jane converses with her fellow passengers, including entertainer Jennifer March and handsome co-pilot John Burn. Just before the plane lands on the Tagus River in Lisbon, Jane and Jennifer inadvertently switch seats as they prepare to buckle in. The plane crashes into the river, and the seriously injured Jane is held afloat by John for forty-five minutes. In the hospital, Jane is told that in addition to her other injuries, her right leg has been almost severed below the knee. She also learns that John has suffered serious injuries, and that Jennifer died in the crash. The fifteen survivors of the wreck slowly recover, thanks to the dedication of nurses such as the Brooklyn-born Clancy. Jane still cannot walk, however, and is under constant threat of having her leg amputated. She maintains a cheerful attitude though, with the help of her deepening friendship with John. One day, John confesses to Jane that he has fallen in love with her, and although Jane is touched, she tells him that his feelings are caused only by their shared experiences. Don then arrives to escort Jane and Clancy back to New York, where Jane undergoes a grueling series of operations to save her leg. When John returns to New York, he continues to pursue Jane, and she admits to Clancy that she reciprocates his feelings. Clancy advises her to concentrate on her recovery, and so Jane, desperate for money to pay her medical bills, opens in a show staged by Don. Even though she must be carried on and off the stage, Jane is a success, and the applause touches her deeply. The show's run is cut short by the necessity for more surgery on Jane's leg, and the constant uncertainty depresses Jane, who complains to Clancy that she will never be a normal woman again. Motivated by her devotion to Jane, Clancy refuses to allow her to wallow in self-pity and lectures her about her many blessings. Later, Jane again sings at a nightclub, and one evening, both Don and John tell Jane that she must choose between them. Jane tells John that she must stay with her husband, although John knows that Jane is afraid to commit to him because she is still in danger of losing her leg. During the show, the audience is charmed when Jane sings to a shy, young paratrooper. Later, Jane tells Clancy that she is determined to "finish what she started" by going overseas to entertain the troops, even though she still has difficulty walking and is in great pain. Clancy accompanies Jane on a thirty-thousand mile tour through seven countries, during which Jane sings for many wounded soldiers. Jane's courage inspires the men, and on one visit, she again meets the paratrooper from the New York nightclub. The youth is suffering from shell shock, but Jane's gentle concern prompts him to talk for the first time in months. Meanwhile, back in New York, a drunken Don telephones John to tell him that he intends to move on with his life, and that he will not be there to welcome Jane when she returns home. At her farewell performance in Europe, Jane is presented with a cake by her loving fans, and she leads the soldiers in a song-filled tribute to their homes. Back in New York, at the banquet, John's reminiscences come to an end, and he watches with pride as Jane sings for the newspapermen. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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