Music in My Heart (1940) (NTSC)
|Category||Musical Comedy||Trailer-Rita Hayworth films x 3|
|Year Of Production||1940|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Joseph Santley|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Bob Gregory (Tony Martin), perennial understudy to the lead in a Broadway hit musical, is told by US Immigration that his visa is not being renewed and that he is being deported that night. The lead, Ray Barrett (Martin Lamont), graciously allows Bob to sing the main role that night and after the performance Bob is put into a taxi. Hurrying to the pier to catch his boat, Bob’s taxi collides with another taxi that is taking Patricia O’Malley (Rita Hayworth) to the same pier to meet with her very wealthy fiancé Charles Spencer Gardner III (Alan Mowbray) and catch the boat. Because of the accident, they miss the boat; Bob is now a wanted man and Pat, not too disturbed at losing her fiancé, takes Bob back to her house until he can give himself up to the authorities in the morning.
Pat lives with her kid sister Mary (Edith Fellows) and Uncle Luigi (George Humbert) at the café run by Sasha (George Tobias). Very quickly Pat and Bob become attracted to each other, encouraged especially by Mary who never wanted Pat to marry Charles in the first place. Charles, feeling jilted by Pat, had got off the boat before it sailed, but he still feels in love with her so sends his valet Griggs (Eric Blore) to Sasha’s café to talk to Pat to try to get her back. At the café Bob (in a false beard) and Mary try everything to sabotage the meeting between Pat and Griggs; they succeed and Bob and Pat acknowledge their love for each other. But Griggs has recognised Bob from a newspaper report and surreptitiously plants a newspaper story that convinces Pat that in Europe Bob has a wife and three children so Pat rejects Bob and decides to return to Charles. At the same time Sasha and the others learn they are to be evicted for non-payment of rent. Bob makes a deal to sing on CBS radio on the Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra Hour to pay Sasha’s rent after which he will turn himself in to be deported. But, this being a 1940’s musical comedy, it is no spoiler to report that Charles Spencer Gardner III turns out to be a very decent chap and that it all ends well with a song and with “music in my heart”.
Music in My Heart was Rita Hayworth’s first musical for Columbia although, at this stage only an up and coming actress, she gets second billing behind Tony Martin. Rita, born Margarita Carmen Cansino into a family of dancers, had been signed by the Fox Film Corp when she was 16 but was let go after a handful of bit parts under the name Rita Cansino. She was, however, picked up by Columbia head Harry Cohn who changed her name to Rita Hayworth (Hayworth being her mother’s maiden name) and, by the early 1940s, she became Columbia’s most popular female star. In With Music in My Heart Rita gets to briefly dance on a table, showing the grace and the promise of things to come, but she plays second fiddle to handsome singer Tony Martin, who certainly looks the part and sings all the songs, including the Oscar nominated It’s a Blue World (the song lost out to what has become a Disney classic When You Wish Upon a Star from the animated film Pinocchio (1940)). Remembered more in later years as a recording star (and for being married to Cyd Charisse for 60 years) than as an actor although he appeared in over 30 films and did sing the next year in the Marx Bros.’ The Big Store (1941).
Music in My Heart was directed by journeyman director Joseph Santley; a decade previously he had co-directed the Marx Bros.’The Cocoanuts (1929), drawing the observation from Groucho that Santley didn’t understand comedy! His direction in Music in My Heart is competent if uninspired, especially static in the songs and production numbers, but the more gentle comedy in Music in My Heart, mainly the repartee between his charismatic leads, is allowed to flow nicely.
Some things in Music in My Heart would not be to current tastes, such as the extended musical finale that stops the story dead in its tracks or the “humorous” ethnic stereotyping of Italian and Russian emigres, but the cracking dialogue, the handsome leads and gentle humour (when it is not ethnic based) can still be appreciated. The result is that Music in My Heart is a frivolous and light-hearted musical comedy that is delightful, entertaining and a heap of old fashioned fun.
Music in My Heart is presented in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, in NTSC and not 16x9 enhanced.
I don’t know what I expected from an almost forgotten black and white film from 1940, but Music in My Heart is a revelation. There is some blur with motion and some slight specks on the print but otherwise there are no scratches or larger marks. Grain is light. Blacks are solid black, shadow detail very good and grey scales and detail excellent for an 80 year old film; take a look at the musical number at the start of the film around 3:59 where the silver in the costumes and the set absolutely glistens. Brightness and contrast are consistent.
English and Japanese subtitles are provided.
The audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono at 192 Kbps.
The dialogue sparkles and is easy to hear. Effects are minimal but the songs (there is no credit for incidental music), generally with music and lyrics by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest performed by Tony Martin with Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra, comes over loud and clear.
There was no hiss or crackle.
Lip synchronisation is fine although the hand / music synchronisation when Rita is “playing” the piano in one sequence is less so!
|Surround Channel Use|
Previews for other Hayworth films: Gilda (2:09),The Lady from Shanghai (1:49) and You Were Never Lovelier (2:07).
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Music in My Heart is available as a stand-alone DVD in both the US and UK but I don’t think it has been released as a stand-alone here in Australia. This release of the film is as part of The Films of Rita Hayworth Collection Two which collection itself forms part of The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection. See the summary section below.
Music in My Heart is an early Rita Hayworth film for Columbia, made before she became Columbia’s top female star. With second billing she shows glimpses of her emerging grace and talent and her interaction and wry dialogue with a dashing Tony Martin is good fun. Music in My Heart may be light-weight, and the songs not particularly memorable, but it is a delightful old fashioned musical that I enjoyed far more than I thought I would.
The video is very good indeed for an 80 year old film, the audio is the original mono. The only extras are a few trailers for other Hayworth films.
Music in My Heart is included in the 12 disc / 12 film set The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection. The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection itself comprises the The Films of Rita Hayworth Collection and the The Films of Rita Hayworth Collection Two. Both of these individual Collection packs have been released previously. If you have not picked up the earlier releases, this collection is great value for fans of Rita, musicals or classic cinema.
The Films of Rita Hayworth Platinum Collection was supplied for review by ViaVision Entertainment. Check out their Facebook page for the latest releases, giveaways, deals and more.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|