Rhythm on the River


1h 32m 1940

Brief Synopsis

Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and then try to sell their songs under their own name. The problem is every song publisher thinks they're copying Courtney's style.

Film Details

Also Known As
Ghost Music
Release Date
Sep 6, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 29 Aug 1940
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 32m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

Oliver Courtney, a celebrated songwriter suffering from a bout of writer's block, employs ghost writers to pen his hits. His latest tunesmith is Bob Summers, a recluse who lives at his uncle Caleb's hotel in Tarrytown, and his new lyricist is Cherry Lane, who has been sworn to secrecy about her job. Seeking solitude to write her compositions, Cherry visits Bob's uncle Caleb's hotel in Tarrytown where she meets Bob, although neither is aware that the other is also a collaborator on Courtney's songs. Bob and Cherry are attracted to each other and begin to write music together, and compose a song entitled "Only Forever," which they pledge will be only theirs forever. While accidently meeting at Courtney's office one day, the two lovers discover that they have been jointly ghosting his songs, and decide to formalize their partnership and sell their songs under their own names. When they do, however, they are accused of copying Courtney's style and are rejected by publisher after publisher. While they are auditioning a song at Westlake Music, orchestra leader John Scott Trotter hears Cherry sing and offers her a job as a vocalist with his band. Cherry resists the offer, but Bob, feeling rejected, insists that she accept, and in order to buy her an evening gown for her debut, borrows two hundred dollars from Courtney, using "Only Forever" as collateral. Later, when Broadway producer Charlie Goodrich storms in Courtney's office and threatens a lawsuit unless Courtney produces some music, Courtney's assistant, Charlie Starbuck, gives him the sheet music for "Only Forever." Goodrich gives the piece to Trotter who presents it to Cherry, who in turn believes that Bob has betrayed her. They then both confront Courtney and, under threat of ruin, he finally acknowledges them as his collaborators.

Film Details

Also Known As
Ghost Music
Release Date
Sep 6, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 29 Aug 1940
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 32m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Award Nominations

Best Song

1940

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Ghost Music. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, Karl Struss subsituted for camerman Ted Tetzlaff when Tetzlaff became ill. John Scott Trotter was a popular orhcestra leader of the period. The song "Only Forever" was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Song. This was actor-pianist Oscar Levant's second film as an actor, his first was The Dance of Life a 1929 Paramount Picture (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.1141).