|Mickey as Lorenz Hart and Judy as herself|
"... strange places with strange people ..."
Richard Rodgers (Tom Drake) and Lorenz Hart (Mickey Rooney) become a highly popular song-writing duo and a theatrical force to be reckoned with. This is a heavily fictionalized biography that completely suppresses Hart's homosexuality and alcoholism, and instead makes the man unlucky in love. The highlights of the film are the musical interludes: Judy Garland, playing herself, singing "I Wish I Were In Love Again" with Mickey; and doing a solo on "Johnny One-Note." Lena Horne scores with "Where or When? " and "The Lady is a Tramp," and Mel Torme does "Blue Moon." Then there's the excellent "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" from On Your Toes with Gene Kelly at the top of his game. Rooney is as superb as ever, Drake [Betrayed Women] is fine as Rodgers, and Marshall Thompson plays associate Herbert Fields. Perry Como plays a fictional character in the film, and while his acting isn't bad, his singing style (at that time) apes Bing Crosby shamelessly. Janet Leigh has a nice turn as Rodgers' wife, as does Ann Sothern as Joyce, but the best one can say about Betty Garrett is that she's utterly unexciting. The picture is very handsomely produced, but the narration is unnecessary. To cap it all off we've got "With a Song in My Heart," one of Rodgers most beautiful melodies.
Verdict: Not the real story but colorful and entertaining. ***.