Words and Music (1948) - Rotten Tomatoes

Words and Music (1948)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Words and Music Photos

Movie Info

The life stories of Broadway tunesmiths Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart are prettified for the screen in MGM's Words and Music. Billed fourth, the colorless Tom Drake plays Rodgers, but never mind that: the film belongs to Mickey Rooney, as the dynamic, self-destructive Lorenz Hart. Understandably, Hart's bisexuality is downplayed. According to MGM, his biggest problem in life is that he was never satisfied with his work. We are, however, especially when those great Rodgers & Hart tunes are performed by the likes of Judy Garland, Janet Leigh, Perry Como, Lena Horne, June Allyson, Cyd Charisse, Betty Garrett, Ann Sothern, Mel Torme, Allyn McLerie, Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen. The musical highlights include Garland's powerhouse rendition of Johnny One-Note, Kelly's Slaughter on 10th Avenue dance solo, Horne's interpretation of Where or When, Allyson's take on Thou Swell, and, best of all, Rooney's premiere performance of I'll Take Manhattan, which he allegedly had just written on the back of an automobile advertisement!

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Tom Drake
as Richard Rodgers
Mickey Rooney
as Lorenz Hart
June Allyson
as Herself
Lena Horne
as Herself
Cyd Charisse
as Margo Grant
Perry Como
as Eddie Lorrison Anders
Ann Sothern
as Joyce Harmon
Betty Garrett
as Peggy Lorgan McNeil
Janet Leigh
as Dorothy Feiner
Marshall Thompson
as Herbert Fields
Jeanette Nolan
as Mrs. Hart
Richard Quine
as Ben Feiner
Clinton Sundberg
as Shoe Clerk
Harry Antrim
as Dr. Rodgers
Ilka Gruning
as Mrs. Rodgers
Emory Parnell
as Mr. Feiner
Helen Spring
as Mrs. Feiner
Edward Earle
as James Fernby Kelly
Judy Garland
as Guest Star
Ramon Blackburn
as Guest Star
Royce Blackburn
as Guest Star
Gene Kelly
as Guest Star
as Guest Star
Mel Tormé
as Guest Star
Allyn Ann McLerie
as Singer in Garrick Gaeities
Dee Turnell
as Herself
Sig Frohlich
as Western Union Messenger
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Critic Reviews for Words and Music

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

Stuffed with star names, too many tunes and an inane story.

July 23, 2019 | Full Review…

some good song numbers

May 28, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

Appallingly sanitized biopic of Rodgers and Hart.

April 11, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Words and Music


There's some great stuff here, the music of course and the Slaughter on 10th Avenue ballet with Vera-Ellen and Gene Kelly is amazing. Janet Leigh is lovely and impossibly young but is given nothing to do but Drake is bland almost to the point of invisiblity and Rooney is frankly a major hambone here terrible and annoying beyond measure. The songs and dances are five star but the story, most of which is fiction, is one.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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