Best Music Movies of 1943
Phantom of the Opera
Pit violinist Claudin hopelessly loves rising operatic soprano Christine Dubois (as do baritone Anatole and police inspector Raoul) and secretly aids her career. But Claudin loses both his touch and his job, murders a rascally music publisher in a fit of madness, and has his face etched with acid. Soon, mysterious crimes plague the Paris Opera House, blamed on a legendary "phantom".
The Yankee Doodle Mouse
As Tom and Jerry stage their typical fight sequences, the patriotic soldier theme of the title is evidenced by such things as a carton of eggs labeled "Hen Grenades"; Jerry dropping light bulbs from an airplane like bombs; and Jerry sending a telegram with the message "Sighted Cat - Sank Same." Musical phrasings from various patriotic war songs are heard throughout.
The Hard Way
Helen Chernen pushes her younger sister Katherine into show business in order to escape their small town poverty.
Cabin in the Sky
When compulsive gambler Little Joe Jackson dies in a drunken fight, he awakens in purgatory, where he learns that he will be sent back to Earth for six months to prove that he deserves to be in heaven. He awakens, remembering nothing and struggles to do right by his devout wife, Petunia, while an angel known as the General and the devil's son, Lucifer Jr., fight for his soul.
Dancing great Bill Williamson sees his face on the cover of Theatre World magazine and reminisces: Just back from World War I, he meets lovely singer Selina Rogers at a soldiers' ball and promises to come back to her when he "gets to be somebody." Years go by, and Bill and Selina's rising careers intersect only briefly, since Selina is unwilling to settle down. Will she ever change her mind? Concludes with a big all-star show hosted by Cab Calloway.
Thank Your Lucky Stars
An Eddie Cantor look-alike organizes an all-star show to help the war effort.
Du Barry Was a Lady
Hat check man Louis Blore is in love with nightclub star May Daly. May, however, is in love with a poor dancer but wants to marry for money. When Louis wins the Irish Sweepstakes, he asks May to marry him and she accepts even though she doesn't love him. Soon after, Louis has an accident and gets knocked on the head, where he dreams that he's King Louis XV pursuing the infamous Madame Du Barry.
Rich kid Danny Churchill has a taste for wine, women and song, but not for higher education. So his father ships him to an all-male college out West where there's not supposed to be a female for miles. But before Danny arrives, he spies a pair of legs extending out from under a stalled roadster. They belong to the Dean's granddaughter, Ginger Gray, who is more interested in keeping the financially strapped college open than falling for Danny's romantic line. At least at first...
Stage Door Canteen
A young soldier on a pass in New York City visits the famed Stage Door Canteen, where famous stars of the theater and films appear and host a recreational center for servicemen during the war. The soldier meets a pretty young hostess and they enjoy the many entertainers and a growing romance
The Constant Nymph
The daughter of a musical mentor adores a promising composer, who is quite fond of the adolescent. When her father dies, an uncle arrives with his own grown daughter, who begins a romance with the composer which culminates in marriage but creates an emotional rivalry that affects the three.
The Gang's All Here
A soldier falls for a chorus girl and then experiences trouble when he is posted to the Pacific.
Acrobat Eddie Marsh is in the army now. His first act is to become friendly with Kathryn Jones, the colonel's pretty daughter. Their romance hits a few snags, including disapproval from her father. Eddie's also plagued by fear of having an accident during his family's trapeze act in the army variety show, which also features a gallery of MGM stars.
The Sky's the Limit
Flying Tiger Fred Atwell sneaks away from his famous squadron's personal appearance tour and goes incognito for several days of leave. He quickly falls for photographer Joan Manion, pursuing her in the guise of a carefree drifter.
This Is the Army
In WW I dancer Jerry Jones stages an all-soldier show on Broadway, called Yip Yip Yaphank. Wounded in the War, he becomes a producer. In WW II his son Johnny Jones, who was before his fathers assistant, gets the order to stage a knew all-soldier show, called THIS IS THE ARMY. But in his pesonal life he has problems, because he refuses to marry his fiancée until the war is over.
Lady of Burlesque
After one member of their group is murdered, the performers at a burlesque house must work together to find out who the killer is before they strike again.
Hi Diddle Diddle
When the bride's mother is supposedly swindled out of her money by a spurned suitor, the groom's father orchestrates a scheme of his own to set things right. He is aided by a cabaret singer, while placating a jealous wife.
His Butler's Sister
Aspiring singer Ann Carter visits her stepbrother in New York, hoping to make it on Broadway.
Pigs in a Polka
A tuxedo-clad wolf Master of Ceremonies announces the evening's program: the tale of the Big Bad Wolf and the Three Little Pigs, set to the music of Johannes Brahms's Hungarian Dances. Queue the fairy tale.
Best Foot Forward
Bud Hooper, a cadet at Winsocki Military Academy, sends an invitation to movie star Lucille Ball to come to Winsocki's big dance. Ball's publicity-hungry agent convinces her to go in order to boost her career. Complications arise when Bud's girlfriend Helen Schlesinger unexpectedly shows up, too.
Hers to Hold
Deanna Durbin is all grown up in Hers to Hold, the unofficial sequel to her "Three Smart Girls" films of the 1930s. Durbin plays Penelope Craig, the starry-eyed daughter of wealthy Judson and Dorothy Craig (Charles Winninger, Nella Walker). Developing a crush on much-older playboy Bill Morley (Joseph Cotton), Penelope stops at nothing to land the elusive Morley as her husband. Highlights include Durbin's renditions of "Begin the Beguine" and the "Seguidilla" from Carmen, and a captivating sequence that includes highlights from Durbin's earlier films, presented as home movies!
Set at the turn of the century, smooth talking con man Eddie Johnson weasels his way into a job at friend and rival Joe Rocco's Coney Island night spot. Eddie meets the club's star attraction (and Joe's love interest), Kate Farley, a brash singer with a penchant for flashy clothes. Eddie and Kate argue as he tries to soften her image. Eventually, Kate becomes the toast of Coney Island and the two fall in love. Joe then tries to sabotage their marriage plans.
Dick Foran and Harriet Hilliard (aka Harriet Nelson) top the cast of the Universal musical quickie Hi, Buddy. Foran plays GI Dave O'Connor, who comes to the rescue when a boy's club is threatened with foreclosure. Upon learning that the money targetted for the club has been appropriated by a crooked manager, O'Connor calls upon his army buddies to stage a big, fundraising show.
Larceny with Music
A former bootlegger is now the prosperous owner of a popular nightclub. A hustling promoter manages to pass off a young singer as the heir to a fortune and gets her booked at the club.
The Amazing Mrs. Holliday
A missionary tries to outwit the U.S. government and smuggle Chinese orphans into the country.
Higher and Higher
A valet to a bankrupt millionaire plans to rebuild his boss's fortune by passing a scullery maid off as a high-society debutante.
Presenting Lily Mars
Starstruck Indiana small-town girl Lily is pestering theatrical producer John Thornway for a role but he is reluctant.
Sweet Rosie O'Grady
An American singer becomes engaged to an English duke, but is continuously pestered over her past as a burlesque dancer by a reporter from her hometown.
Three Cheers for the Girls
This short film showcases six production numbers from various Warner Bros. musicals.
The Powers Girl
Two small-town sisters who've come to New York City for very different reasons find themselves competing for the affections of a brash magazine photographer. Comedy.
Reveille with Beverly
Beverly Ross, the switchboard operator at a local radio station, jumps at the chance to be the DJ for an early morning show before the soldiers at a nearby army camp assemble for reveille. Beverly, with her modern music, camp bulletins and chatter, is a hit with the soldiers. Beverly's younger brother and his two buddies are soldiers at the camp. The buddies vie for Beverly's attentions.
Hello, Frisco, Hello
In turn-of-the-century San Francisco, an ambitious vaudevillian takes his quartet from a honky tonk to the big time, while spurning the love of his troupe's star singer for a selfish heiress.
The Desert Song
Paul Hudson, leads a group of desert bandits against some Nazis, who want to use them as cheap labor for their railroad.
Patriotic musical romance. After her school is closed, teacher Ann tries to join up. However, she is persuaded to organise a nursery for a munitions factory.
We'll Meet Again
A young dancer trying to make it in London during World War II discovers that people like her singing voice, too. Although she's at first reluctant to sing, she finally does and becomes a star. She hooks up with a young musician who composes classical music and turns his nose up at this vulgar "popular" music, but she believes he can be a success at it and sets out to turn him around.
You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith
A young woman marries a soldier to fulfill the conditions of a will. However, when she gets ready to divorce him, she realizes that she actually loves him, and determines to find a way to keep him.
Bandleader/singer/songwriter Ted Barry arrives to heaven. The receptionist tells him that before he can take his place in the Hall of Music, a committee must review his work and decide whether he is worthy of admittance.
Man from Music Mountain
Roy returns home to fine a range feud between the cattlemen and the sheepmen. When his friend is killed he finds the rifle had a defective pin. He learns the rifle belongs to a ranch hand named Barker and that a third party has caused the feud. When he captures outlaws trying to blow up a dam, he claims Barker was the killer. But Barker has switched rifles and the outlaws now accuse Roy and Roy finds himself in trouble.
Something to Shout About
A press agent, a composer and a landlord of a theatrical boardinghouse revive vaudeville on Broadway.
Cavalcade of Dance
Ballroom dancers Veloz and Yolanda perform the various dance fads of the first half of the twentieth century.
I Dood It
Constance Shaw, a Broadway dance star, and Joseph Rivington Reynolds, a keen fan of hers, marry after she breaks up with her fiancé. Connie thinks Joseph owns a gold mine, but he actually works as a presser at a hotel valet shop. When everyone learns what he really is, Joseph is banned from the theater. When he sneaks in again, he learns of a plot to set off a bomb in the adjoining munitions warehouse.
Let's Face It
A soldier stationed on an army base and his fiancé, who runs a women's "fat farm" nearby, want to get married but don't have enough money. Three customers of the "fat farm" scheme to get back at their philandering husbands by hiring the soldier and two of his buddies as "escorts" for the weekend. Complications ensue when the husbands show up unexpectedly.
So's Your Uncle
Circumstances arise that result in a man impersonating his uncle. As the "uncle", he finds himself pursued by his girlfriend's aunt, who does not approve of their relationship.
Comedy about a bandleader with hypnotic powers.
The "Eleven Brooklyn Bombshells," a band led by Mickey Monroe ('Dennis O'Keefe (I)' ), are stranded in Tahiti at the time of the fall of France to the Nazis. Suzette "Suzie" Durand (Simone Simon). a French-American girl singing in a nightclub is consumed with a desire to go to the United States. Things go from bad to worse for the band,. and they are faced with the necessity of either taking a girl singer into the group,which they all regard as bad luck, or starving. The band insists that she be dropped as soon as they can earn enough to catch a bot home. But Mickey falls in love with Suzie, and smuggles her on board the ship.
Ozzie Nelson and His Orchestra
Ozzie Nelson leads his orchestra in two standard numbers, and Ozzie performs two novelty songs.
Miss London Ltd.
Askey stars as a man trying to save his flagging escort agency. A new partner suggests getting some new girls in, just in time for the soldiers' leave. The film also features the English singing favourite of the forties, Anne Shelton.
No relation to the 1950 Frank Capra film of the same name, the 1943 Technicolor musical Riding High is a by-the-numbers vehicle for Dorothy Lamour and Dick Powell. Lamour stars as Ann Castle, a former burlesque queen who heads westward to claim her father's silver mine. Powell plays mining engineer Steve Baird, who like Ann has a vested interest in the worked-out mine. With the help of genial counterfeiter Mortimer J. Slocum (Victor Moore), Steve and Ann are able to peddle mining stock, thus saving her from bankruptcy. The stockholders are in a lynching mood when it appears that they've been flim-flammed, but a last minute "miracle" saves the day. Featured in the cast are Paramount stalwarts Cass Daley and Gil Lamb, the former doing her quasi-Martha Raye act and the latter swallowing his harmonica for the millionth time. Production values are excellent and the songs are exuberantly performed; it's only in its hackneyed plot that Riding High slows to a clip-clop.
The management of touring ice show faces mounting debts.
The United States Navy Band
The United States Navy Band, conducted by Lieutenant Charles Brendler, performs naval and patriotic numbers on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Radio singer Joan Abbott, known as the "Crunchy-Wunchy Thrush", does not want to renew her contract with the cereal sponsor, as she wants to go to college. But her guardian, her Uncle Willie signs the contract in order to pay off his own debts. But this time Joan won't take no for an answer and enrolls under an assumed name. When Joan goes missing, the radio institutes a search for Joan via a publicity stunt.