Hit Parade of 1943


1h 22m 1943

Brief Synopsis

One of the many films made at Republic with a year attached to the "Hit Parade" title, which came from the "Hit Parade" radio program sponsored by Lucky Strike cigarettes. On reissue all of the entries underwent a title change from "Hit Parade of 19??" to, usually, a title of a song contained in the film, as happened in the case of this film when it was reissued as "Change of Heart" in 1949, and not known under that title until 1949. Not reissuing the film under the original title of "Hit Parade of 1943" had a two-fold purpose; the audiences of that era were not much interested in seeing a film twice, and a changed title-even when the original title was clearly shown in (very) small print in the ads and on the posters---had a chance of being seen again by that segment of the ticket-buying public who didn't read the small print. The plot here is just a trifle---Susan Hayward ghost writes songs for composer John Carroll, whose charms evidently outweighed his song-writing ability---played in and around some great singing and dancing numbers by, for its time, a large number of black performers including Dorothy Dandridge, Count Basie, dancing by the great Jack Williams and the team of "Pops & Louie"(Albert Whitman and Louis Williams)and others, including Spanish dancer Chinita Marin, billed as Chinita. The song "Change of Heart", by Jule Styne and Harold Adamson, was Oscar-nominated, and also became the title of the film on 1949 reissue. Walter Scharf also was Oscar-nominated for Best Scoring of a Musical. Republic seldom got two nominations in any single year, much less two in the same film.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 26, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,778ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

When amateur songwriter Jill Wright moves from the Midwest to New York City, she is dismayed to discover that Rick Farrell, the owner of Miracle Publishing Co., has claimed as his own the song she submitted to his company. Jill confronts Rick, who is a smooth-talking ladies' man, and he convinces her to ghostwrite songs for him to gain familiarity with the business. Unknown to Rick, Jill plans to copyright her songs in her own name and expose his double-crossing after his reputation has made the songs famous. Rick's life is complicated further by his surreptitious romance with singer Toni Jarrett. When Toni's boyfriend, influential club owner Bradley Cole, commissions Rick to write a new song, Rick and Jill receive the first test of their secret partnership. Their song is a hit, and they sincerely begin to fall in love--despite their intentions to use romance only as a means to keep each other in line. Soon their success leads to a new office for Miracle, and Rick decides to proclaim Jill as the author of their latest hit, "A Change of Heart," when the song makes the Hit Parade. He also intends for the announcement to be his wedding present to Jill, for he wishes to propose to her, but when Toni finds out, she tricks Jill into thinking that Rick means to marry her instead. Toni then confronts Rick, who tells her that they are through. Determined to ruin Rick's chance at happiness, Toni persuades Cole to ban "A Change of Heart" from his clubs, and when the song is not played any longer, it appears that it will not make the Hit Parade. Knowing that he needs only one more play of the song for it to hit the big time, Rick and his partner, J. MacClellan Davis, pawn their possessions and pledge ten thousand dollars for a war bond on a radio show offering to play song requests in exchange for pledges. Rick intends to announce Jill's authorship of the song after he performs it on the show, and while he prepares, Mac goes to Jill's apartment and explains the situation to her. Upon learning about Toni's treachery, and the fact that Rick intends to derail his own career for her sake, Jill rushes to the radio studio. She then tears up the speech that Rick intended to give and ends the song by kissing him.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 26, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,778ft (9 reels)

Award Nominations

Best Score

1943

Best Song

1943

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The viewed print was entitled Change of Heart, and as noted in the onscreen credits, was "revised" from Hit Parade of 1943 and re-released in 1949. Although cast members Jack Williams, Pops and Louie, The Music Maids and The Three Cheers were not listed on the credits of the viewed print, Republic records indicate that they were credited on the original release. The Variety preview review gives the picture's running time as 90 minutes, although other contemporary sources list the running time as 82 minutes. The following information comes from contemporary sources: Edmund Grainger was originally set as the picture's producer, and in March 1942, Barry Trivers was assigned to work on the screenplay. The extent of Trivers' contribution to the completed picture has not been determined, however. Republic first offered the leading roles to Milton Berle and Constance Bennett, but Berle declined the role in order to appear in a musical comedy on the stage. Anne Jeffreys, who was initially cast in a small role, was instead cast in the studio's picture Chatterbox. John Carroll was borrowed from M-G-M and Susan Hayward was borrowed from Paramount for the production.
       According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Republic held a nationwide contest for the worst song title. The winner, "Autumn Leaves in the Gutter, Never Again Will They Flutter," was submitted by W. F. McFadden, but it has not been determined if he actually composed the music and lyrics or only the title. In the film, the song is sung by "Westinghouse," who wants "Rick Farrell" to publish it. Another Hollywood Reporter news item stated that the film would be the "first picture to contain dim-out shots of New York City. It also will show Gotham as effected by gas rationing." These scenes were to have been filmed by director Al Rogell during a trip to New York City, but they were not included in the viewed print. The film received Academy Award nominations in the Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture) and Music (Song-"A Change of Heart") categories. Astrid Allwyn made her last film appearance in this picture, which was the third of Republic's "Hit Parade" films. For more information on the films, see the entry for The Hit Parade in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 (F3.1934).