The Hard Way (1943 film)

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The Hard Way
The Hard Way 1943 movie poster.jpg
Theatrical Poster
Directed by Vincent Sherman
Produced by Jerry Wald
Written by Jerry Wald
Screenplay by Daniel Fuchs
Peter Viertel
Starring Ida Lupino
Dennis Morgan
Joan Leslie
Music by Heinz Roemheld
Cinematography James Wong Howe
Edited by Thomas Pratt
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • February 20, 1943 (1943-02-20)
Running time
109 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Hard Way is a 1943 Warner Bros. musical drama film directed by Vincent Sherman. The film was based on a story by Irwin Shaw which was reportedly based on Ginger Rogers' relationship with her first husband, Jack Pepper (whom she married in 1928 at age 17) and her own mother, Lela.[citation needed]

Plot[edit]

Ida Lupino as Mrs. Helen Chernen

Helen Chernen (Ida Lupino) is an ambitious woman, determined to once and for all become rich. She pushes her younger sister Katie (Joan Leslie) into a marriage with singer/dancer Albert Runkel (Jack Carson). Katie has no interest in the man, but is desperate to leave the poor conditions she and her sister live in, a dirty steel town. Runkel's partner Paul Collins (Dennis Morgan) sees what Helen's real intentions are and tries to stop her from breaking Runkel's heart.

Now living in wealthier surroundings, Helen tries to make a start of Katie's career. She is able to put her on a Broadway play. Katie soon becomes a successful singer and actress, while Collins and Runkel's act flounders. Runkel can't bear the idea of his wife having more success than himself. Also annoyed with Helen's efforts to destroy his marriage, he eventually kills himself.

Meanwhile, Katie's popularity rises to her head and she becomes a wild party girl. Her behavior eventually costs her her career. They later meet up with Paul, who is now a successful band leader. He falls in love with Katie and they start a relationship. However, things get complicated when Helen reveals she is in love with him as well.

Cast[edit]

Ida Lupino in The Hard Way trailer 2.jpg Ida Lupino as Mrs. Helen Chernen Joan Leslie in The Hard Way trailer.jpg Joan Leslie as 'Katie' Chernen
Dennis Morgan in The Hard Way trailer.jpg Dennis Morgan as Paul Collins Jack Carson in The Hard Way trailer.jpg Jack Carson as Albert Runkel

Production[edit]

Both Bette Davis and Ginger Rogers were initially offered the role of Helen, but both declined. Ida Lupino was then cast. Shaw wanted Howard Hawks or William Wyler to direct the film, but since they were busy with other projects producer Jerry Wald hired Vincent Sherman. Portions of a documentary film by Pare Lorentz were used to represent the mining town of Green Hill. To achieve a more realistic feel during the scenes that took place in Green Hill, neither Lupino nor Leslie wore makeup. The film's first and last scenes were added at Jack Warner's insistence that Lupino appear more glamorous in the opening scene.[citation needed]

Soundtrack[edit]

  • "I Love to Dance"
    • (1942) (uncredited)
    • Written by M.K. Jerome and Jack Scholl
    • Played during the opening credits and at the end
    • Sung by Gladys George at rehearsal with piano accompaniment
    • Reprised at a show and sung and danced by Joan Leslie (dubbed by Sally Sweetland) and chorus
    • Sung on a record by Leslie
    • Played as background music often
  • "Am I Blue?"
    • (1929) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Akst
    • Lyrics by Grant Clarke
    • Sung by Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson in their vaudeville act
    • Reprised by Joan Leslie (dubbed by Sally Sweetland)
    • Played as background music often
  • "Tip Toe Through the Tulips with Me"
    • (1929) (uncredited)
    • Music by Joseph Burke
    • Lyrics by Al Dubin
    • Sung by Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson in their vaudeville act
  • "You're Getting To Be a Habit With Me"
    • (1932) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Warren
    • Lyrics by Al Dubin
    • Played on a juke box in the ice cream parlor
  • "For You"
    • (1930) (uncredited)
    • Music by Joseph Burke
    • Lyrics by Al Dubin
    • Played on piano by Dennis Morgan and danced by Joan Leslie
    • Played as background music
  • "(You May Not Be an Angel, But) I'll String Along With You"
    • (1934) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Warren
    • Lyrics by Al Dubin
    • Sung by Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson at a vaudeville show and danced by Joan Leslie
  • "Shuffle Off To Buffalo"
    • (1932) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Warren
    • Lyrics by Al Dubin
    • Sung and danced by Jack Carson and Joan Leslie (voice dubbed by Sally Sweetland) at a vaudeville show
    • Played as background music
  • "Forty-Second Street"
    • (1932) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Warren
    • Lyrics by Al Dubin
    • Played as background music
  • "She's A Latin From Manhattan"
    • (1935) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Warren
    • Lyrics by Al Dubin
    • Sung and danced by Jack Carson and Joan Leslie (voice dubbed by Sally Sweetland) in a nightclub
  • "I Get a Kick Out of You"
    • (1934) (uncredited)
    • Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
    • Played offscreen by the nightclub band
  • "Lullaby of Broadway"
    • (1935) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Warren
    • Lyrics by Al Dubin
    • Played offscreen by the nightclub band
  • "About a Quarter to Nine"
    • (1935) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Warren
    • Lyrics by Al Dubin
    • Played on piano and danced by chorus girls at rehearsal
  • "Jeepers Creepers"
    • (1938) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Warren
    • Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
    • Sung by a chorus at a show
  • "My Little Buckaroo"
    • (1937) (uncredited)
    • Music by M.K. Jerome
    • Lyrics by Jack Scholl
    • Sung by a chorus in a montage
  • "With Plenty of Money and You"
    • (1936) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Warren
    • Lyrics by Al Dubin
    • Song by a chorus in a show during a montage
  • "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby"
    • (1938) (uncredited)
    • Music by Harry Warren
    • Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
    • Song by a chorus in a show during a montage
  • "Begin the Beguine"
    • (1935) (uncredited)
    • Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
    • Played on a record
  • "Night And Day"
    • (1932) (uncredited)
    • Music and lyrics by Cole Porter
    • Played by the band at the Embassy Club
  • "Goodnight, My Darling"
    • (1942) (uncredited)
    • Written by M.K. Jerome and Jack Scholl
    • Played by the band at the Oakmont Lodge and
    • Sung by Dennis Morgan
  • "There's a Small Hotel"
    • (1936) (uncredited)
    • Music by Richard Rodgers
    • Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
    • Played as background music at a theater

Awards[edit]

Ida Lupino was awarded a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress for her role in the film.

External links[edit]