Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


John Carroll and Susan Hayward
HIT PARADE OF 1943 (aka Change of Heart/1943). Director: Albert S. Rogell.

"Their cover charge reads like my social security number!"

Aspiring songwriter Jill Wright (Susan Hayward of I'll Cry Tomorrow) discovers that her publisher, Rick Farrell (John Carroll) has appropriated her song for himself and retitled it. Considering that said song is a dreadful concoction called "Tohmboombah" one would think Jill would be happy that someone else took credit. Still she is importuned by Rick into writing more songs for him, planning to step forward and take credit when the songs become hits. They are both hopeful with a forgettable romantic ditty entitled "Change of Heart," which became the film's new title in re-release. Hit Parade of 1943 is amiable enough, although it ends with the heroine's self-abnegation when Rick tries to tell the truth about their songs on the radio. [Wanna bet Jill will change her tune when Rick starts cheating on her, as he will?] Hayward is terrific in the film, with very good support from Carroll, as well as Walter Catlett [Fired Wife] as Rick's dyspeptic associate, and Gail Patrick [Up in Mabel's Room] as the wealthy woman Rick uses in his career ambitions. Eve Arden is fun as always as Jill's friend, who doesn't think much of Rick (along with most of the audience.) The lyrics are by Jule Styne of "Funny Girl" fame and the music by Harold Adamson -- too bad this wasn't reversed, although "Who Took Me Home Last Night?" is a cute number and ""Do These Old Eyes Deceive Me?" isn't bad. A very young Dorothy Dandridge sings with Count Basie's orchestra, and you wouldn't recognize her as the sophisticated beauty she later became. As for Hayward, it was clear she had something special right from the start.

Verdict: A standard Republic musical with some good performances. **1/2.


angelman66 said...

I must catch this one! Susan Hayward looks so young and gorgeous. And Dorothy Dandridge and Count Basie to boot!
Thanks, Bill, for highlighting another one I have never even heard of...

William said...

Suzie had "it" right from the get-go, a very vital actress even in stuff like this. You hardly notice Eve Arden, which is saying something! This is on Amazon Instant Video as well.