Music in My Heart


1h 10m 1940
Music in My Heart

Brief Synopsis

A chorus girl engaged to a millionaire falls for the star of her latest musical.

Film Details

Also Known As
Passport to Happiness
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Musical
Release Date
Jan 10, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 4 Jan 1940
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Englishman Robert Gregory, an understudy in a Broadway musical, gets an opportunity to play the leading role on the eve of his deportation from the country. En route to the boat, his taxi collides with another cab that is carrying Patricia O'Malley, who is also headed to the boat to marry Charles Gardner, an eccentric millionaire she doesn't love. It is a case of love at first sight, and they are very much relieved when they discover that they have missed the boat. Meanwhile, aboard the boat, Pat's tardiness prompts Charles to believe that he has been jilted, and accompanied by his butler, Griggs, he disembarks before it sails, while Bob's absence prompts the immigration authorities to issue a warrant for his arrest. Learning of Bob's jeopardy, Pat insists that he spend the night at her Uncle Luigi's, where he immediately wins the favor of Pat's kid sister Mary. The next day, Charles begins a campaign to win Pat back, and sends Griggs to Sascha's restaurant as an ambassador. To disrupt the peace talks, Bob pretends to be a waiter, and Griggs finds his face vaguely familiar. After Griggs departs, Bob proposes to Pat and she accepts. That night at dinner, Pat tells Charles of her decision, and Briggs, finally recognizing Bob as the fugitive whose picture appeared in the paper, suggests that they turn him into the police. When Charles, always the gentleman, refuses, Griggs plants a story in the paper about the wife and three children that Bob has left behind, causing Pat to return to Charles. Meanwhile, Bob, dejected, learns that Sascha is threatened with eviction and offers to turn himself in while performing on Andre Kostelanetz's new radio program. As Pat despondently listens to the sound of Bob's voice over the radio, Charles realizes that she still loves him and, upon learning of Griggs' scheme, reconciles the lovers and adopts Bob to make him a citizen.

Videos

Movie Clip

Music In My Heart (1940) - Punchinello Celebrating their engagement, with a reprise of a Bob Wright-Chet Forrest original, this is the only musical bit in the picture for Rita Hayworth, as Manhattanite Patricia, because it’s really a vehicle for Tony Martin, as singer Bob, support from Edith Fellows, George Tobias and George Humbert, in Music In My Heart, 1940.
Music In My Heart (1940) - It's A Blue World Star Tony Martin as singer Bob, with an Academy Award-nominated Bob Wright-Chet Forrest tune, which charted for 14 weeks, has won a radio gig, and we cut away to listener Rita Hayworth, who’s back with her millionaire boyfriend (Alan Mowbray), because she thinks Tony deceived her, which we’ll soon learn he hasn’t, near the end of Columbia’s Music In My Heart, 1940.
Music In My Heart (1940) - You Catching The Boat? We've already met Tony Martin as English singer Bob, happily rushing to a Manhattan dock because he's being deported after a big breakthrough performance, and now he meets Rita Hayworth as Patricia, also headed to the boat, Don Brodie the winning cabbie, in Columbia's Music in My Heart, 1940.
Music In My Heart (1940) - Oh, What A Lovely Dream! Through a flimsy plot device in this Columbia Pictures vehicle for non-contract star Tony Martin, he’s been recruited to sing for a Manhattan politician (Joseph Crehan), from the neighborhood where his prospective new girlfriend Pat (Rita Hayworth) lives, and plays piano, with a Bob Wright-Chet Forrest original, in Music In My Heart, 1940.

Film Details

Also Known As
Passport to Happiness
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Musical
Release Date
Jan 10, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 4 Jan 1940
Production Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Award Nominations

Best Song

1940

Articles

Music In My Heart - Music in My Heart


Rita Hayworth got her first starring role in a musical at her home studio, Columbia Pictures, with Music in My Heart (1940). It may not have given her the opportunities to dance and sing (lip-synch is more accurate) she would have in such classics as You'll Never Get Rich (1941) and Cover Girl (1944), but at least it anticipated the latter film by casting her as a respectable girl working her way up from poverty who's torn between a wealthy suitor (Alan Mowbray) and a brash young musical star (Tony Martin). And like her best musicals, it also showcased some great comic character actors in supporting roles.

Music in My Heart was actually intended as a vehicle for Tony Martin, the popular singer who had just left his contract at 20th-Century-Fox (and a marriage to their resident musical leading lady, Alice Faye) to freelance. This was his first film on his own, but far from floundering after leaving the security of his studio contract, Martin was flourishing. He had just signed a recording contract with Decca, and his first release, "Begin the Beguine" backed with "September Song," had sold a million copies. His popular radio series Tune-Up Time paired him with bandleader Andre Kostelanetz, who would play himself in the film.

Hayworth had been at Columbia a few years already, mostly with minor roles in low-budget films. She had just completed a juicy supporting role as Richard Barthelmess' faithless wife in Only Angels Have Wings (1939), but studio management had not yet realized the impact she had made in the film. In fact, she only got the lead in Music in My Heart because Martin asked for her. With her next film, Blondie on a Budget (1940), she was back to the Bs, still waiting for her breakthrough.

Hayworth's role in Music in My Heart was really just window dressing, as the action focused primarily on Martin's attempts to stay in the country when he's threatened with deportation just as he's about to become a Broadway star (a plot reflected in the film's working title, Passport to Happiness. Despite her early fame as a dancer, she only got to do a brief routine in the film, hardly a showcase.

If Music in My Heart showcased anyone, it was the comics. Eric Blore, best remembered for his roles in such Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers classics as Top Hat (1935), had another role as the ultimate gentleman's gentleman, joining forces with employer Mowbray to keep Hayworth from getting too close to Martin. George Tobias, who would go on to play Abner Kravitz in the television series Bewitched, got to steal scenes as a Russian expatriate living in Martin's boarding house.

With Martin in the male lead, the film had to feature some top tunes, most of them by the team of Chet Forrest and Bob Wright. One of the most successful teams in music history, Forrest and Wright worked together as partners for 72 years. The two had first scored with "The Donkey Serenade," then signed on at MGM where they wrote scores for Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald among others. After their Hollywood years, they would win Broadway's Tony Award for the Arabian Nights musical Kismet and also score with The Song of Norway. For Music in My Heart, they gave Martin a hit with "It's a Blue World," which won an Oscar® nomination for Best Song (it lost to "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio). Martin's recording of the song stayed on the hit parade for 13 weeks, followed by a 14-week run for Glenn Miller's version. In 1952, it became a hit again in a recording by The Four Freshmen.

Hit status would be a little longer in coming for Hayworth. Although Music in My Heart did well at the box office, it would take a pair of loan-outs, to Warner Bros. for The Strawberry Blonde and to Fox for Blood and Sand (both 1941), to convince Columbia that they had a star on their hands.

Producer: Irving Starr
Director: Joseph Santley
Screenplay: James Edward Grant
Based on the story "Passport to Happiness" by Grant
Cinematography: John Stumar
Music: Morris Stoloff
Art Direction: Lionel Banks
Principal Cast: Tony Martin (Robert "Bob" Gregory), Rita Hayworth (Patricia "Patsy" O'Malley), Edith Fellows (Mary O'Malley), Alan Mowbray (Charles Spencer Gardner III), Eric Blore (Griggs, Gardner's Valet), George Tobias (Sascha Bolitov), Joseph Crehan (Mark G. Gilman), Andre Kostelanetz (Himself).
BW-70m.

by Frank Miller
Music In My Heart - Music In My Heart

Music In My Heart - Music in My Heart

Rita Hayworth got her first starring role in a musical at her home studio, Columbia Pictures, with Music in My Heart (1940). It may not have given her the opportunities to dance and sing (lip-synch is more accurate) she would have in such classics as You'll Never Get Rich (1941) and Cover Girl (1944), but at least it anticipated the latter film by casting her as a respectable girl working her way up from poverty who's torn between a wealthy suitor (Alan Mowbray) and a brash young musical star (Tony Martin). And like her best musicals, it also showcased some great comic character actors in supporting roles. Music in My Heart was actually intended as a vehicle for Tony Martin, the popular singer who had just left his contract at 20th-Century-Fox (and a marriage to their resident musical leading lady, Alice Faye) to freelance. This was his first film on his own, but far from floundering after leaving the security of his studio contract, Martin was flourishing. He had just signed a recording contract with Decca, and his first release, "Begin the Beguine" backed with "September Song," had sold a million copies. His popular radio series Tune-Up Time paired him with bandleader Andre Kostelanetz, who would play himself in the film. Hayworth had been at Columbia a few years already, mostly with minor roles in low-budget films. She had just completed a juicy supporting role as Richard Barthelmess' faithless wife in Only Angels Have Wings (1939), but studio management had not yet realized the impact she had made in the film. In fact, she only got the lead in Music in My Heart because Martin asked for her. With her next film, Blondie on a Budget (1940), she was back to the Bs, still waiting for her breakthrough. Hayworth's role in Music in My Heart was really just window dressing, as the action focused primarily on Martin's attempts to stay in the country when he's threatened with deportation just as he's about to become a Broadway star (a plot reflected in the film's working title, Passport to Happiness. Despite her early fame as a dancer, she only got to do a brief routine in the film, hardly a showcase. If Music in My Heart showcased anyone, it was the comics. Eric Blore, best remembered for his roles in such Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers classics as Top Hat (1935), had another role as the ultimate gentleman's gentleman, joining forces with employer Mowbray to keep Hayworth from getting too close to Martin. George Tobias, who would go on to play Abner Kravitz in the television series Bewitched, got to steal scenes as a Russian expatriate living in Martin's boarding house. With Martin in the male lead, the film had to feature some top tunes, most of them by the team of Chet Forrest and Bob Wright. One of the most successful teams in music history, Forrest and Wright worked together as partners for 72 years. The two had first scored with "The Donkey Serenade," then signed on at MGM where they wrote scores for Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald among others. After their Hollywood years, they would win Broadway's Tony Award for the Arabian Nights musical Kismet and also score with The Song of Norway. For Music in My Heart, they gave Martin a hit with "It's a Blue World," which won an Oscar® nomination for Best Song (it lost to "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio). Martin's recording of the song stayed on the hit parade for 13 weeks, followed by a 14-week run for Glenn Miller's version. In 1952, it became a hit again in a recording by The Four Freshmen. Hit status would be a little longer in coming for Hayworth. Although Music in My Heart did well at the box office, it would take a pair of loan-outs, to Warner Bros. for The Strawberry Blonde and to Fox for Blood and Sand (both 1941), to convince Columbia that they had a star on their hands. Producer: Irving Starr Director: Joseph Santley Screenplay: James Edward Grant Based on the story "Passport to Happiness" by Grant Cinematography: John Stumar Music: Morris Stoloff Art Direction: Lionel Banks Principal Cast: Tony Martin (Robert "Bob" Gregory), Rita Hayworth (Patricia "Patsy" O'Malley), Edith Fellows (Mary O'Malley), Alan Mowbray (Charles Spencer Gardner III), Eric Blore (Griggs, Gardner's Valet), George Tobias (Sascha Bolitov), Joseph Crehan (Mark G. Gilman), Andre Kostelanetz (Himself). BW-70m. by Frank Miller

Music in My Heart on DVD


The folks at Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment deserve a tip of the hat for releasing movies like Music In My Heart (1940) on DVD. This picture is not a classic by any stretch, but it is a fun, charming, and unpretentious little musical which illustrates very well what an ordinary Hollywood entertainment of 1940 was like. It also features Rita Hayworth not long before she hit major stardom and shows off the fine singing voice of future pop sensation Tony Martin.

The plot, if you can call it that, finds actor/singer Martin about to be deported. On the way to his ship, his cab collides with another taxi, providing a cute way for Martin to meet Hayworth, on her way to the same boat to get married. They miss the boat, she takes him in for the night (of course!), and the next thing they know they're falling in love. Comic misunderstandings ensue right up to a climax worthy of the crackpot storylines typical of the era. The silliness, of course, is all just an excuse for some light and charming song-and-dance numbers. The enjoyable score includes "Punchinello," which Martin sings to a monkey, the Oscar®-nominated "It's a Blue World," and the title tune, "Music in My Heart," which makes for a charming ending.

Unsurprisingly, Hayworth commands the screen with her beauty and comic abilities. The actress was at this point just approaching the brink of true stardom. She had just done Only Angels Have Wings (1939), a Howard Hawks masterpiece in which she played the second leading lady under Jean Arthur, and in about a year she would appear in The Strawberry Blonde (1941), which she made on loan to Warner Bros and which was her first real success. That would be quickly followed by Blood and Sand (1941) and You'll Never Get Rich (1941), in which she finally had a chance to show off her dancing skills to superb effect opposite Fred Astaire. In Music In My Heart, Hayworth has just one little dance - a reprise of "Punchinello" - and though it's simple, it's also delightful.

Movie buffs will be surprised to see the name of James Edward Grant credited with original story and screenplay, for Grant is far better known for dozens of westerns and war movies, such as Flying Leathernecks (1951), Hondo (1953), The Alamo (1960), and Donovan's Reef (1963). In fact, he would become John Wayne's favorite writer. Music In My Heart was one of Grant's earliest projects, one on which the former newspaperman cut his teeth.

In the end, it's Martin's voice and Hayworth's overall presence which makes this a nice little winner, though Eric Blore, Alan Mowbray and George Tobias provide solid support as always. The song "Punchinello" is silly, but it's hard to watch it without smiling. Just like the movie itself.

The only drawback to this DVD is that there are zero extras. A commentary or interview with Tony Martin - who is very much still with us - would have been nice, especially given the DVD's list price. At least the transfer is good, and the soundtrack is clean.

For more information about Music in My Heart, visit Sony Pictures. To order Music in My Heart, go to TCM Shopping.

by Jeremy Arnold

Music in My Heart on DVD

The folks at Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment deserve a tip of the hat for releasing movies like Music In My Heart (1940) on DVD. This picture is not a classic by any stretch, but it is a fun, charming, and unpretentious little musical which illustrates very well what an ordinary Hollywood entertainment of 1940 was like. It also features Rita Hayworth not long before she hit major stardom and shows off the fine singing voice of future pop sensation Tony Martin. The plot, if you can call it that, finds actor/singer Martin about to be deported. On the way to his ship, his cab collides with another taxi, providing a cute way for Martin to meet Hayworth, on her way to the same boat to get married. They miss the boat, she takes him in for the night (of course!), and the next thing they know they're falling in love. Comic misunderstandings ensue right up to a climax worthy of the crackpot storylines typical of the era. The silliness, of course, is all just an excuse for some light and charming song-and-dance numbers. The enjoyable score includes "Punchinello," which Martin sings to a monkey, the Oscar®-nominated "It's a Blue World," and the title tune, "Music in My Heart," which makes for a charming ending. Unsurprisingly, Hayworth commands the screen with her beauty and comic abilities. The actress was at this point just approaching the brink of true stardom. She had just done Only Angels Have Wings (1939), a Howard Hawks masterpiece in which she played the second leading lady under Jean Arthur, and in about a year she would appear in The Strawberry Blonde (1941), which she made on loan to Warner Bros and which was her first real success. That would be quickly followed by Blood and Sand (1941) and You'll Never Get Rich (1941), in which she finally had a chance to show off her dancing skills to superb effect opposite Fred Astaire. In Music In My Heart, Hayworth has just one little dance - a reprise of "Punchinello" - and though it's simple, it's also delightful. Movie buffs will be surprised to see the name of James Edward Grant credited with original story and screenplay, for Grant is far better known for dozens of westerns and war movies, such as Flying Leathernecks (1951), Hondo (1953), The Alamo (1960), and Donovan's Reef (1963). In fact, he would become John Wayne's favorite writer. Music In My Heart was one of Grant's earliest projects, one on which the former newspaperman cut his teeth. In the end, it's Martin's voice and Hayworth's overall presence which makes this a nice little winner, though Eric Blore, Alan Mowbray and George Tobias provide solid support as always. The song "Punchinello" is silly, but it's hard to watch it without smiling. Just like the movie itself. The only drawback to this DVD is that there are zero extras. A commentary or interview with Tony Martin - who is very much still with us - would have been nice, especially given the DVD's list price. At least the transfer is good, and the soundtrack is clean. For more information about Music in My Heart, visit Sony Pictures. To order Music in My Heart, go to TCM Shopping. by Jeremy Arnold

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Passport to Happiness. Chet Forrest and Bob Wright's song "It's a Blue World" was nominated for an Academy Award.