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Words and Music

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Original title
Words and Music
Running time
120 min.
United States United States
Fred F. Finklehoffe (Story: Guy Bolton, Jean Holloway)
Harry Stradling Sr., Charles Rosher
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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Musical | Biography
Synopsis / Plot
The plot is a hokey whitewash of the careers of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, with characters talking in stilted phrases ("Gee, Larry, that's marvelous, really and truly") and complexities reduced to ground zero. But Rodgers and Hart comprised one of the greatest song-writing teams of the 20th century, and Words and Music (1948) is an excuse for a gang of Hollywood's top performers to have their way with the tunes. Mel Tormé croons a melancholy "Blue Moon," June Allyson twinkles through "Thou Swell," and a climactic ballet to "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" features Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen in slinky, kicky form. As is often the case in MGM musicals of this period, Lena Horne steals the show with a self-contained sequence (so it could be snipped out in theaters in the U.S. South), here contributing stunning versions of "The Lady Is a Tramp" and that most mysterious of American pop songs, "Where or When."
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