THE PLOT THUS FAR
Gangster’s moll Honey Swanson goes into hiding when her boyfriend is under investigation by the police. Where better to hide than a musical research institute staffed entirely by lonely bachelors? She gets more than she bargained for when the head of the institute Professor Hobart Frisbee starts to fall for her.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“A Song Is Born” is director Howard Hawks musical remake of his earlier film, Ball of Fire (1941). Your enjoyment of the film will likely be commensurate with your enjoyment of the various musical performers spotlighted. Tommy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Barnet, and the oft-sampled Golden Gate Quartette are all featured, and Benny Goodman even plays one of the academics. Needless to say, A Song Is Born will likely play very well to fans of the eras music.
While the jazz is great, the films big problem lies in its leads. Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo are certainly passable, but neither is strong enough to carry the picture, and as a result, the film feels more like a musical showcase than a real story.
Still, A Song Is Born has its moments, like when Mayo decks Esther Dale, or Kayes fist fight at the films finale, that will have you laughing out loud, and which, combined with the great music, make the film passable.