As Julie London once sang...
January's gone...and February's here...
Here am I without a Valentine....
Well...February is now..almost gone too, so here is my thoughts on our Movie of the Month...
WITH A SONG IN MY HEART....
There is a very good reason that this Susan film is my favorite film..because it is also when I found MY FAVORITE FILM STAR. That has to stay with you..because this kind of thing just doesn't happen each time you go to the movies! You don't find yourself mezmerized by this beautiful, strong, heartbreaking actress that has just made you cry from the pure pleasure of just watching her pull you in...and hold her close to your heart...FOREVER.
I just must mention this...I was 12 years old visiting my cousin and we had been gone to this Sunday matinee,..then would be picked up by my Uncle when the film was over.
It didn't happen quite that way...YES..we watched the film..and were so involved with the film, when it started playing, the second time, that we couldn't get up and leave. We were not talking to each other...just still too stunned by the wonderful film and talented lady who had just stolen our hearts, that we didn't even THINK of my uncle, probably waiting outside..for us to come and go home.
I remember exactly WHEN we realized Uncle Glen was there..waiting for us. The theater manager had let him come in to look for us. From the corner of my eye, I saw him standing in the aisle..BUT..he too, had been dumbstruck by Susan on the screen and just stood there...being sucked in to the woman up there.
We had now sat through to the 'GET HAPPY' (IT'S A GOOD DAY') number. I gave a sigh of relief when Uncle Glen sat down beside us...and watched, while we got to see that great number for a second time!
We then left...before the manager came looking for ALL THREE OF US..(lol) When we got outside the theater, Uncle Glen said..."Who was that lady?" I said..."SUSAN HAYWARD...Isn't she...great?" He couldn't speak...(honestly..he just kept nodding his head...)
WITH A SONG IN MY HEART...Winner of Best Musical/Comedy film of the year (that was the category in those days)...over..SINGIN' IN THE RAIN.
What a magnificent musical score it had too!! Most films (musicals) that had so many songs, as this film had, would have made you restless, moaning 'not another SONG!'..BUT not this one! Each song blended in with the dramatic story that was unfolding and each song seemed to weave you into the mood and then back out again...to continue on with the story. Of course almost every song in the film was already a musical milestone in its own right. These were songs that you already knew and had become classic standards in their own time.
ONE ROLE in the film had been added...and was not 'real in the life of Jane Froman. That was the nurse role, Clancy, played so brilliantly by THELMA RITTER.
She was nominated for Supporting Actress for her role, but I always felt that she didn't win, because it was an 'add-on' to a movie that was suppose to be the true story of a famous person. The Academy don't like it when these ad-on people are put into films of this kind. She was marvelous in the role and played so perfectly opposite Susan. I never knew until years later, that she was not a real part of Jane Froman's life story...but real or unreal..THELMA was terrific in the role.
IT BROUGHT TO THE SCREEN...a soon to be superstar in a small role, that (from what HE himself has said) was only made much better and eaiser for him to perform, because of the grace and friendly help that was given to him by SUSAN. Of course, this is ROBERT WAGNER, who played the shell shocked soldier, in one of the most tearful reunions between the soldier and Froman, that you would ever want to see. 'I'LL WALK ALONE' was the song...and the song will never be the same, after seeing this scene.
SUSAN played Jane Froman as no one could have ever done it!! If I had been told, at the time of seeing this film, that Susan was NOT singing all of those songs, herself, I would have told them they were nUtS. Her vocal cords tells you she is singing them.
The lip sync is so ON that you don't even look for any flaws..because SUSAN makes you believe she IS JANE FROMAN and SHE IS SINGING.
THE TITLE SONG...is one of the most beautiful photographed musical numbers I have ever seen. It always remeinded me of a musical number coming right from Heaven. You have to see it...to describe it does no justice!
YES...I KNOW...I go on and on..when I write a post, but...sorry...that's the way I am...and I'm too old to change now and make things...more simple...(lol)
ANYWAY...I wanted to put my post in on both this and I WANT TO LIVE! incase I get down sick again and can't join in for awhile.
I will be looking in and reading what the rest of you post though. It's just that sometimes I am not feeling well enough to respond. Hope you will all understand.
Most beautifully written Errol and a pleasure to read especially hearing how you first became MESMERIZED by Susan. I love to read how fans are first drawn to her.
I am always reading about the wonderful lip synchronization when Susan sang as Jane Froman - I believe it was so perfect because Susan was actually singing in her own voice during the numbers. She said as much on the Joey Bishop Show when she was
interviewed in, I believe, 1968. She said something along the lines - "soundtrack back on - I didn't like to hear myself singing!" Then she went on to tell Joey that she did her own singing in "I'LL CRY TOMORROW" and her favourite song from that movie was "Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe".
Anyway Errol, thanks again and also for the piece on I WANT TO LIVE.
I swear that in reading your posting, it was as if I was reading my own! As I've said on this website before, I saw WASIMH at my local movie theater and was so mesmerized that I sat through it twice! Unfortunately for me, my mother wasn't mesmerized, wondering why I hadn't come home on time and she sent my father to find me. While I was watching the film for the second time, suddenly a flashlight was shining on me, and there stood my irate dad and the usher.
Unlike your experience with your uncle, I couldn't convince my father that I'd just witnessed an event equal to the earth's spinning on its axis (or whatever it does spin on, LOL), for to me -- like you -- seeing this wonderful film with an effervescent star like Susan was an experience I'd never had previously and haven't had since.
Prior to the film, I'd never heard of Jane Froman. She was before my time, but I followed her career with her own show on TV after the film.
Of course, I knew about Susan Hayward, but I'd never known she could evoke the physical, emotional and spiritual quality of another real person so completely. I knew then that there would never be another movie star like Susan for me. And there never has been.