Musical Monday: Blues in the Night (1941)

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It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

Poster - Blues in the Night_01This week’s musical:
Blues in the Night” (1941)– Musical #191

Studio:
Warner Brothers

Director:
Anatole Litvak

Starring:
Priscilla Lane, Jack Carson, Richard Whorf, Lloyd Nolan, Elia Kazan, Billy Halop, Betty Field, Wallace Ford, Joyce Compton, Howard Da Silva, Faith Domergue (uncredited), Faye Emerson (uncredited), William Hopper (uncredited)

Plot:
Jigger (Whorf), Leo (Carson), Peppi (Halop), Nickie (Kazan), and Pete (Whitney) have formed a jazz band and want to take it on the road. With Leo’s wife, “Character” (Lane) as the lead singer, the group rides the rails and hitchhikes to each gig. Character and Leo’s marriage is unstable, as he gambles a great deal, and she’s afraid to tell him when she gets pregnant,because she knows he doesn’t want to be tied down. The group runs into escaped convict Del Davis (Nolan) who steals their money and then offers them a job at a New Jersey road house since they didn’t turn him over to the police. The road house is a dump but they eventually build it into a swinging establishment. Even with more steady work, their problems haven’t ended. Kay Grant (Field) first has her sites set on Leo and then turns to Whorf, causing him to eventually have a nervous breakdown.

Trivia:
-Harold Arlen (music) and Johnny Mercer (lyrics) were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, Best Original Song, “Blues in the Night”
-Faith Domergue first role in a film as an uncredited jitterbug dancer.
-Richard Whorf’s role of Jigger was offered to both James Cagney and John Garfield, according to Anatole Litvak: The Life and Films
By Michelangelo Capua
-The original title of the film was first “Hot Nocturne” and then “New Orleans Blues,” according to Anatole Litvak: The Life and Films
By Michelangelo Capua

priscilla

Notable Songs:
-Blues in the Night performed several times throughout the film
-Hang on to Your Lids, Kids performed by Priscilla Lane
-Says Who? Says You, Says I
-This Time the Dream’s on Me performed by Priscilla Lane

Hightlights:
-Blues in the Night performed in the jail
-The crazy montage of when Richard Whorf has a break down

My review:

Betty Field in "Blues in the Night"

Betty Field in “Blues in the Night”

While categorized as a musical, “Blue in the Night” is an interesting blend of crime, noir and music. This isn’t your typical upbeat musical and Priscilla Lane isn’t plucky and carefree.
The film depicts the struggles of an up and coming jazz band and the dynamics of an unstable marriage. Priscilla Lane and Jack Carson are married in the film, but it’s clear that while he married her, he really doesn’t want to be tied down and is constantly gambling and carousing. When Priscilla Lane’s character gets pregnant, she is afraid to tell her husband because it would ruin his care free lifestlye and she fears he would leave her.
The movie has crime and gangster film elements as well when the band gets involved with Lloyd Nolan, a gangster who is hiding out, and his ex-moll, played by Betty Field who has her eyes on most of the men in the band.
Added bonus is that you get to hear Johnny Mercer’s “Blues in the Night” a few times throughout the film.
If you’re looking for a rollicking musical, “Blues in the Night” isn’t really for you.
But if you are looking for a characteristic brooding Warner Brothers film, this could be for you.

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Weekend One-Hundred: Musical list 101-200

"Blues in the Night"-Love Prisiclla Lane but this movie was a tad boring and furstarting because of her no good husband.

Several of you requested to see my musical list, so for the next few weekends I will post 100 of the musical on the list-in the order I watched and recorded them. This list goes from July of 2004 till roughly August or September of 2005.  Enjoy!

101.) Night and Day (1946)
102.) Shall We Dance (1937)
103.) Best Foot Forward (1943)
104.) Meet the People (1944)
105.) Date with Judy (1948)
106.) Roberta (1935)
107.) Fiesta (1947)
108.) Easy to Love (1954)
109.) Skirts Ahoy (1952)
110.) Jupiter’s Darling (1955)
111.) High Society (1956)
112.)Broadway Melody of 1929 (1929)
113.) Music For Millions (1944)
114.) Panama Hattie (1942)
115.) Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter (1968)
116.) It’s a Date (1940)
117.) Neptune’s Daughter (1949)
118.) On Moonlight Bay (1951)
119.) Holiday in Mexico (1946)
120.) Two Girls and a Sailor (1944)
121.) The Gay Divorcee (1934)
123.) Going to Hollywood (1933)
124.) Born To Dance (1936)
125.) Happy Go Lovely (1951)
126.) Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
127.) Perils of Pauline (1947)
128.) Lullaby of Broadway (1951)
129.) April in Paris (1952)
130.) Two Tickets to Broadway (1951)
131.) Shine on Harvest Moon (1944)

"Shine on Harvest Moon"-Great Warner Brothers film. Dennis Morgan is dreamy and Ann Sheridan is beautiful

132.) Three Smart Girls (1936)
133.) Look for the Silver Lining (1949)
134.) Something in the Wind (1947)
135.) It Started With Eve (1941)
136.) First Love (1939)
137.) Can’t Help Singing (1944)
138.) Stage Door Canteen (1943)
139.) Hollywood Canteen (1944)
140.) Rosalie (1937)
141.) The Story of Irene and Vernon Castle (1939)
142.) Sunny (1930)
143.)Cinderella (1957)
144.) Cinderella (1964)
145.) Cinderella (1997)
146.) Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
147.) Road to Morocco (1942)
148.) Road to Utopia (1946)
149.)Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)
150.) It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
151.) Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956)
152.) Looking for Love (1964)
153.) Down to Earth (1947)
154.) French Line (1954)
155.) Follow the Fleet (1936)
156.) Road to Singapore (1940)
157.) Road to Bali (1952)
158.) Bundle of Joy (1956)
159.) Rich, Young, and Pretty (1951)
160.) Flower Drum Song (1962)
161.) Vogues of 1938 (1937)
162.) Moon Over Miami (1941)
163.) Springtime in the Rockies (1942)
164.) Gypsy (1962)
165.) Girl Crazy (1943)
166.) ‘Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
167.) I Love Melvin (1953)
168.) Bye, Bye Birdie (1963)
169.) Second Chorus (1940)
170.) Farmer Takes a Wife (1953)
171.) Tea For Two (1950)
172.) Honolulu (1939)
173.) DuBarry Was a Lady (1943)
174.) By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953)
175.) The Opposite Sex (1956)
176.) I Dood It (1943)
177.) The Stork Club (1945)
178.) Too Many Girls (1940)
179.) Pigskin Parade (1936)
180.) I’ll See You in My Dreams (1951)
181.) Tonight and Every Night (1945)
182.) Presenting Lilly Mars (1943)
183.) Yolanda and The Thief (1945)
184.) Lucky Me (1954)
185.) Court Jester (1955)
186.) Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (1937)
187.) Listen Darling (1938)
188.) Thousands Cheer (1943)
189.) Give a Girl a Break (193)
190.) Reckless (1935)
191.) Blues in the Night (1941)
192.) Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938)
193.) Pennies from Heaven (1936)
194.)Damsel in Distress (1937)
195.) Sweet Adeline (1934)
196.) Desert Song (1953)
197.) Four Jacks and a Jill (1942)
198.) Going Places (1938)
199.) Here Comes the Groom (1951)
200.) Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949)

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