A Song is Born

The Samba Kings in a publicity still for A Song is Born (1948).  Howard Hawks’ remake of his Ball of Fire (1942) is one of Hawks’ four weak films.  Even his weak films have highlights, and the music in A Song if Born is terrific.

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A Song is Born

 

Danny Kaye reads from a book on jazz with Benny Goodman on clarinet in A Song is Born (1948).  Benny’s biggest competition as leader of a big band on clarinet was Artie Shaw.  Late in life Artie was once asked about the state of popular music, replying “Madonna in a jock strap is not music.”

A Song is Born

Esther Dale reprised her role as Miss Bragg in the Ball of Fire remake A Song is Born (1948), as did Mary Field as Miss Totten.

A Song is Born

publicity still for A Song is Born (1948), one of Howard Hawks’ four weak films.  There is literally no screenwriter credit during the on screen credits.  The only credit is for Billy Wilder’s original version, Ball of Fire.  Billy had absolutely no involvement in the remake.  If he had, A Song is Born wouldn’t have been as lousy.

A Song is Born


Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo in a publicity still for A Song is Born (1948) copying Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck.  Howard said Danny was as funny as a crutch and only did the movie for the major loot thrown at him by producer Samuel Goldwyn who also produced Ball of Fire (1942).  Howard needed the money after spending much out of his own pocket to produce his previous film Red River.

I Was a Male War Bride

 

Cary Grant in a publicity photo for I Was a Male War Bride (1949), the fourth of five movies he made with Howard Hawks.  This is the weakest of the five, but it is still a good movie.  The other four are masterpieces:  Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday and Monkey Business.

I Was a Male War Bride

Ann Sheridan and Cary Grant are newlyweds who find great difficulty in spending the night together in I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

I Was a Male War Bride

I Was a Male War Bride (1949) was Howard Hawks’ first film in Europe. His only other experience filming outside of Hollywood had been Viva Villa in Mexico, for which he was fired for going over budget.

I Was a Male War Bride

While in Germany filming I Was a Male War Bride (1949), Cary Grant contracted hepatitis.  In one scene he claimed he had to run into a haystack and when he came out the other end he was 20 pounds lighter.

I Was a Male War Bride

Ann Sheridan and Cary Grant pose for I Was a Male War Bride (1949).  Cary was the only choice for his part, while Ava Gardner was considered for his wife.

I Was a Male War Bride

foreign flyer for I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

I Was a Male War Bride

Cary Grant dresses in drag as a male war bride in I Was a Male War Bride (1949), the most successful Hawks comedy at the box office.  It was the eighth biggest box office hit of the year.

I Was a Male War Bride

Cary Grant wears a wig made of a horse’s tail in I Was a Male War Bride (1949).

I Was a Male War Bride

Cary Grant out of costume in a publicity photo for I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

The Thing

Margaret Sheridan in a publicity photo for The Thing (1951).  Margaret was originally cast by Howard Hawks as Tess Millay in Red River, with the part eventually going to Joanne Dru when Margaret became pregnant and unavailable.  When he finally got to work with her, he was disappointed as she had lost a spark due to motherhood.