A Song is Born

Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo are on their way to their fake wedding in A Song is Born (1948).

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A Song is Born

Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo try to copy Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck in A Song is Born (1948), Howard Hawks’ inferior remake of Ball of Fire.

A Song is Born

Virginia Mayo as singer Honey Swanson with Mel Powell at the piano in A Song is Born (1948).

A Song is Born

Virginia Mayo in a screencap from A Song is Born (1948), Howard Hawks’ first film in color.  He waited another five years for his second color film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

A Song is Born


While A Song is Born (1948) is one of Howard Hawks’ four weak films, it is notable as his first film in color.  It was photographed by Gregg Toland who also photographed the original version, Ball of Fire (1942).  Check out the main Classic Hollywood and Beyond section for a great article on the great Toland.

http://howardhawks.com/gregg-toland-cinematographer-1904-1948/

A Song is Born

Virginia Mayo behind the scenes of A Song is Born (1948).  Virginia was one of the reasons for the weakness of the film.  Virginia was no match for Barbara Stanwyck as Sugarpuss O’Shea in the original Ball of Fire (1942).  The best Howard Hawks could do was to screen the original film and try to get Virginia to mimic Barbara.   Many other actresses would have brought more personality and spark to the role.

A Song is Born

Kathleen Howard 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.

A Song is Born

Virginia Mayo as Honey Swanson in A Song is Born (1948).  The best Howard Hawks could do was to get Virginia to mimic Barbara Stanwyck’s Oscar nominated performance of the original, Ball of Fire (1942).

A Song is Born

Virginia Mayo tries to fit in with Mel Powell at the piano in a publicity still for A Song is Born (1948)