ⓘ The Hard Way (1943 film)

                                     

ⓘ The Hard Way (1943 film)

The Hard Way is a 1943 Warner Bros. musical drama film directed by Vincent Sherman. The film was based on a story by Irwin Shaw which was reportedly based on Ginger Rogers relationship with her first husband, Jack Pepper and her own mother, Lela.

                                     

1. Plot

Helen Chernen Ida Lupino is an ambitious woman, determined to escape poverty. She pushes her younger sister Katie Joan Leslie into a marriage with singer/dancer Albert Runkel Jack Carson. Katie has no interest in the man, but is desperate to leave the poor conditions that she and her sister live in, in a dirty steel town. Runkels partner Paul Collins Dennis Morgan realizes Helens deeper intentions and tries to stop her from breaking Runkels heart.

Now living in wealthier surroundings, Helen tries to make a start on Katies career. After showcasing her in Runkels act, she is able to put her in a Broadway production. Katie soon becomes a successful singer and actress, and Collins and Runkels act flounders. Runkel cant bear being away from his wife on tour and refuses to live off her earnings or even use his wifes name to promote himself. He eventually commits suicide.

Meanwhile, Katies popularity goes to her head, and she becomes a wild party girl, losing an important opportunity. She later meets with Paul, who is now a successful band leader. He falls in love with Katie, and they start a relationship. However, Katie is forced to choose between him and appearing in Helens first play.

                                     

2. Cast

  • Dolores Moran as Young Blonde uncredited
  • Paul Cavanagh as John "Jack" Shagrue
  • Gladys George as Lily Emery
  • Faye Emerson as Ice Cream Parlor Waitress
  • Emory Parnell as Policeman uncredited
                                     

3. Production

Both Bette Davis and Ginger Rogers initially were offered the role of Helen, but both declined. Ida Lupino was cast. Shaw wanted Howard Hawks or William Wyler to direct the film, but because they were busy with other projects, producer Jerry Wald hired Vincent Sherman. Portions of a documentary film by Pare Lorentz were used to represent the mining town of Green Hill. To achieve a more realistic feel during the scenes that took place in Green Hill, neither Lupino nor Leslie wore makeup. The films first and last scenes were added at Jack L. Warners insistence that Lupino appear more glamorous in the opening scene.

                                     

4. Soundtrack

  • Sung by Gladys George at rehearsal with piano accompaniment
  • Written by M.K. Jerome and Jack Scholl
  • "I Love to Dance"
  • 1942 uncredited
  • Played as background music often
  • Played during the opening credits and at the end
  • Reprised at a show and sung and danced by Joan Leslie dubbed by Sally Sweetland and chorus
  • Sung on a record by Leslie
  • Reprised by Joan Leslie dubbed by Sally Sweetland
  • Lyrics by Grant Clarke
  • Sung by Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson in their vaudeville act
  • 1929 uncredited
  • Music by Harry Akst
  • Played as background music often
  • "Am I Blue?"
  • 1929 uncredited
  • Sung by Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson in their vaudeville act
  • Lyrics by Al Dubin
  • "Tip Toe Through the Tulips with Me"
  • Music by Joseph Burke
  • Music by Harry Warren
  • 1932 uncredited
  • Played on a juke box in the ice cream parlor
  • Lyrics by Al Dubin
  • "Youre Getting to Be a Habit with Me"
  • "For You"
  • Music by Joseph Burke
  • 1930 uncredited
  • Lyrics by Al Dubin
  • Played as background music
  • Played on piano by Dennis Morgan and danced by Joan Leslie
  • Lyrics by Al Dubin
  • Sung by Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson at a vaudeville show and danced by Joan Leslie
  • Music by Harry Warren
  • "You May Not Be an Angel, but Ill String Along with You"
  • 1934 uncredited
  • Music by Harry Warren
  • Sung and danced by Jack Carson and Joan Leslie voice dubbed by Sally Sweetland at a vaudeville show
  • Played as background music
  • Lyrics by Al Dubin
  • 1932 uncredited
  • "Shuffle Off to Buffalo"
  • Music by Harry Warren
  • 1932 uncredited
  • Lyrics by Al Dubin
  • "Forty-Second Street"
  • Played as background music
  • Lyrics by Al Dubin
  • 1935 uncredited
  • "Shes a Latin from Manhattan"
  • Sung and danced by Jack Carson and Joan Leslie voice dubbed by Sally Sweetland in a nightclub
  • Music by Harry Warren
  • Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
  • 1934 uncredited
  • Played offscreen by the nightclub band
  • "I Get a Kick Out of You"
  • 1935 uncredited
  • Played offscreen by the nightclub band
  • "Lullaby of Broadway"
  • Lyrics by Al Dubin
  • Music by Harry Warren
  • Played on piano and danced by chorus girls at rehearsal
  • "About a Quarter to Nine"
  • Music by Harry Warren
  • Lyrics by Al Dubin
  • 1935 uncredited
  • Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
  • Sung by a chorus at a show
  • 1938 uncredited
  • Music by Harry Warren
  • "Jeepers Creepers"
  • Music by M.K. Jerome
  • "My Little Buckaroo"
  • 1937 uncredited
  • Sung by a chorus in a montage
  • Lyrics by Jack Scholl
  • Song by a chorus in a show during a montage
  • "With Plenty of Money and You"
  • Lyrics by Al Dubin
  • 1936 uncredited
  • Music by Harry Warren
  • Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
  • 1938 uncredited
  • Music by Harry Warren
  • "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby"
  • Song by a chorus in a show during a montage
  • "Begin the Beguine"
  • Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
  • 1935 uncredited
  • Played on a record
  • Played by the band at the Embassy Club
  • Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
  • "Night and Day"
  • 1932 uncredited
  • "Goodnight, My Darling"
  • Sung by Dennis Morgan
  • 1942 uncredited
  • Played by the band at the Oakmont Lodge and
  • Written by M.K. Jerome and Jack Scholl
  • "Theres a Small Hotel"
  • Played as background music at a theater
  • 1936 uncredited
  • Music by Richard Rodgers
  • Lyrics by Lorenz Hart


                                     

5. Reception

"Unconvincing but well mounted drama." Leslie Halliwell Halliwells Film Guide, Eighth edition, revised and updated, edited by John Walker, © 1992 Ruth Halliwell and John Walker. HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.
                                     
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