With a Song in My Heart (film)

With a Song in My Heart is a 1952 biographical film which tells the story of actress and singer Jane Froman, who was crippled by an airplane crash on February 22, 1943, when the Boeing 314 Pan American Clipper flying boat she was on suffered a crash landing in the Tagus River near Lisbon, Portugal. She entertained the troops in World War II despite having to walk with crutches. The film stars Susan Hayward, Rory Calhoun, David Wayne, Thelma Ritter, Robert Wagner, Helen Westcott and Una Merkel. Froman herself supplied Hayward's singing voice.

With a Song in My Heart
With a Song in My Heart (1952 film) DVD cover art.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWalter Lang
Produced byLamar Trotti
Darryl F. Zanuck (uncredited)
Written byLamar Trotti
StarringSusan Hayward
Rory Calhoun
David Wayne
Thelma Ritter
Robert Wagner
Music byAlfred Newman
CinematographyLeon Shamroy
Edited byJ. Watson Webb Jr.
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
April 4, 1952
Running time
117 min
CountryUnited States
Box office$3.25 million[1][2]

The film was written and produced by Lamar Trotti and directed by Walter Lang. The title song, "With a Song in My Heart", (Rodgers and Hart, 1929) became famous in the UK as the theme to the long-running BBC radio show, Family Favourites.

Plot summaryEdit

Jane Froman (Susan Hayward) is a humble staff singer at a Cincinnati radio station, but in no time she rises to the uppermost rungs of network radio fame. Jane gratefully marries her agent Don Ross (David Wayne), but soon both realize they're not truly in love. Jane's popularity soars, and she leaves on a European tour. When her plane crashes, she is partially crippled. Unable to walk without crutches, she nonetheless goes on to entertain U.S. troops during World War II.


Singing groups the Four Girl Friends, the Modernaires, the Melody Men, the Sklyarks, and the Starlighters appeared in the movie.[3]


The rights to Jan Froman's life story were sought by a variety of production companies, including MGM, Warner Bros, Sam Goldwyn, 20th Century Fox, and Wald-Krasna (at RKO).[4] In September 1950 Fox announced that Lamar Trotti would write and produce The Jane Froman Story.[5][6] Froman says she decided to go with Fox after talking to Trotti even though MGM offered $25,000 more. She says the price paid was "mid six figures".[4]

In March 1951 Fox announced that the male leads would be played by David Wayne and Dale Robertson and that the film would be called I'll See You in My Dreams.[7] In April 1951 Jean Peters was announced as the star.[8] In May the lead went to Susan Hayward.[9]

The title was changed to You, the Night and the Music.[10] Rory Calhoun replaced Robertson in June.[11]

In July 1951 Robert Wagner was added to the cast.[12]

Joyce McKenzie was cast as the woman who took Froman's seat[13]

Froman acted as technical adviser, but refused to watch the sequence involving the plane crash.[14]

Soundtrack recordingEdit

As per the times, the soundtrack album for With a Song in My Heart was a studio recording, and it initially included eight songs and a shorter version of the "American Medley" sung by Jane Froman, with a short orchestral introduction by George Greeley, who conducted the orchestra and chorus. The Capitol Records album was released in multiple formats: Capitol L-309 (LP), DDN-309 (4 record 78rpm-Box Set); KDF-309 (4 record 45rpm singles Box-Set); and FBF-309 (2 EP Box-set).[15] This album was the best-selling album of 1952 and spent 25 weeks at the top of the Billboard chart.[16] Jane Froman also released a single of the title song with Capitol Records.


The film was a box office success. Wagner's small role received a lot of acclaim, resulting in 3,000 fan letters a week arriving at the studio - this encouraged Fox to build him up as a star.[17]

Awards and honorsEdit

It won the Academy Award for Original Music Score and was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Susan Hayward), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Thelma Ritter), Best Costume Design, Color and Best Sound, Recording (Thomas T. Moulton).[18]

The film won the Golden Globe award for best picture in the musical or comedy category, and Susan Hayward won the Golden Globe award for leading actress in a musical or comedy.

The film is also recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Soundtrack songs from the filmEdit

Although the film won the Academy Award for the Best Original Score, there were a number of American standards represented. All except three songs featured the voice of Jane Froman; and were performed by Susan Hayward.[20]

Songs included in an "American Medley"


  1. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p224
  2. ^ 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
  3. ^ "With A Song In My Heart (1952)". TCM (Turner Classic Movies). Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  5. ^ Korean 'Operation O' Rushed by RKO Studio; Jane Froman Storied Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 18 Sep 1950: B9.
  6. ^ FOX TO FILM LIFE OF JANE FROMAN: Trotti Will Produce Picture Telling of Singer's Struggle After 1943 Plane Crash Special to The New York Times. New York Times 18 Sep 1950: 19.
  7. ^ David Wayne Gets Role in Movie Life Story of Singer Jane Froman: Looking at Hollywood.... Hopper's, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 4 May 1951: a6.
  8. ^ STUDIO BRIEFS Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]25 Apr 1951: A7.
  9. ^ Drama: Beverly Tyler Lead With Audie Murphy Los Angeles Timesc3 May 1951: A8.
  10. ^ Thelma Ritter Goes Into Jane Froman Story: Looking at Hollywood Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 23 May 1951: b4.
  11. ^ Cummings to Revive 'Of Thee I Sing' on Stage: Looking at Hollywood Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 6 June 1951: b5.
  12. ^ Of Local Origin New York Times 5 July 1951: 21.
  13. ^ Drama: Wechsler Will Produce 'Anne;' Heston and Wife Named Play Principals Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]23 June 1951: 9.
  14. ^ Drama: Role in Metro's 'Jumbo' on O'Connor Schedule Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]17 Aug 1951: 16.
  15. ^ Capitol Album Discography
  16. ^ Allmusic.com
  17. ^ Dad Relaxes, Lets Wagner Be a Star: Actor Forges Through Trifling Roles to Emerge Most Promising Juvenile Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times25 Jan 1953: D3.
  18. ^ "The 25th Academy Awards (1953) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
  19. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  20. ^ Soundtracks from Film, IMDb

External linksEdit