Open main menu

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 (whom she married in 1928 at age 17) and her own mother, Lela.[2]

The Hard Way
The Hard Way 1943 movie poster.jpg
Theatrical Poster
Directed byVincent Sherman
Produced byJerry Wald
Screenplay byDaniel Fuchs
Peter Viertel
Story byJerry Wald
StarringIda Lupino
Dennis Morgan
Joan Leslie
Music byHeinz Roemheld
CinematographyJames Wong Howe
Edited byThomas Pratt
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • February 20, 1943 (1943-02-20)
Running time
109 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$2.3 million (US rentals)[1]

Contents

PlotEdit

 
Ida Lupino as Mrs. Helen Chernen

Helen Chernen (Ida Lupino) is an ambitious woman, determined to once and for all esacape 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 she and her sister live in, a dirty steel town. Runkel's partner Paul Collins (Dennis Morgan) sees what Helen's real intentions are and tries to stop her from breaking Runkel's heart.

Now living in wealthier surroundings, Helen tries to make a start of Katie's career. After showcasing her in Runkel's act, she is able to put her in a Broadway production. Katie soon becomes a successful singer and actress, while Collins and Runkel's act flounders. Runkel can't bear being away from his wife on tour and refuses to live off her earnings or even use his wife's name to promote himself. He eventually commits suicide.

Meanwhile, Katie's popularity rises to her head and she becomes a wild party girl, losing an important opportunity. She later meets up 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 Helen's first play.

CastEdit

  Ida Lupino as Mrs. Helen Chernen   Joan Leslie as 'Katie' Blaine
  Dennis Morgan as Paul Collins   Jack Carson as Albert Runkel

ProductionEdit

Both Bette Davis and Ginger Rogers were initially offered the role of Helen, but both declined. Ida Lupino was then cast. Shaw wanted Howard Hawks or William Wyler to direct the film, but since 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 film's first and last scenes were added at Jack L. Warner's insistence that Lupino appear more glamorous in the opening scene.[citation needed]

SoundtrackEdit

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

AwardsEdit

Ida Lupino was awarded a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress for her role in the film.

ReceptionEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Top Grossers of the Season", Variety, 5 January 1944 p 54
  2. ^ Studio Affairs: My Life as a Film Director, by Vincent Sherman, page 110

External linksEdit