THE MAMMOTH MUSICAL OF JEROME KERN’S DRAMATIC LIFE STORY!
The first of several MGM biopics based on the lives of famous Broadway composers tells us the perfectly mundane story of Jerome Kern and his rise to fame. There’s nothing special in his life that makes the film stand out, just his talent, which is competently illustrated in several musical numbers, including a recreation of the stage production of ”Show Boat”. Impressively staged at times, with many stars in the supporting cast. That compensates to some degree for a merely adequate lead performance.
1946-U.S. 137 min. Color. Directed by Richard Whorf. Cast: Robert Walker (Jerome Kern), Van Heflin (James Hessler), Lucille Bremer (Sally Hessler), Dorothy Patrick, Judy Garland, June Allyson… Kathryn Grayson, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Van Johnson, Tony Martin, Dinah Shore, Cyd Charisse, Angela Lansbury, Virginia O’Brien. Cameo: Esther Williams.
Trivia: Grayson plays Magnolia Hawks in the film’s version of ”Show Boat”; she would repeat the role in the 1951 screen adaptation. Busby Berkeley, Henry Koster, Vincente Minnelli and George Sidney reportedly contributed to various scenes in the film.