Making the Grades
A funny thing happened to Robert Gregory (Tony Martin) on his way to Pier 7.
The aspiring singer has only a few minutes to get to the dock because his long-awaited, first shot at center stage, happens just hours before he is to be deported from America on some obscure immigration technicality. But as he races away after the final curtain call, his speeding taxi collides with another.
The occupant of the second cab is also in a hurry. During the heated, faultfinding debate following the accident, the two passengers discover they are headed for the same place. Solving the problem as quickly as possible, the two parties decide to share the one car that is still operational. Making hasty introductions as they continue their journey, Gregory learns Patricia O'Malley (Rita Hayworth) is meeting her wealthy fiance, whom she will be marrying onboard.
Unfortunately, fate is against them - or is it?
Arriving just moments after the boat sets sail, Mr. Gregory realizes he is now in breach of the law. Miss. Pat on the other hand, knows she has waved good-bye to her chances for a more affluent lifestyle. With no other options, the disappointed lady takes the handsome fugitive back to the humble neighborhood she had hoped to escape, and finds him lodging at her former boarding house. Gregory happily follows Pat, not feeling nearly as guilty as he should about his illegal status or her broken engagement.
Although fully intending to explain the debacle to the officials the next morning, Gregory gets sidetracked, first by the charming residents of the multi-ethnic community, and then by the sentimental imaginings of Pat's kid sister Mary (Edith Fellows). The younger sibling believes the penniless stranger is a better match for Pat than her previous intended, Mr. Charles Gardner (Alan Mowbray). Gregory couldn't agree more. Wooing the girl with song, it appears all will end happily -- until Pat is unexpectedly offered a golden invitation to rekindle her relationship with the middle-aged millionaire.
Romantic inclinations rush rather rapidly in this movie, almost in direct contrast to the slowly shuffling script. Stopping frequently for Tony Martin to showcase his vocal talents, his numbers include It's a Blue World, which won an Academy Award. Even Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra get a turn in the spotlight. However Rita Hayworth, who would later go on to be one of Hollywood's greatest sex symbols, only gets a few frames of film to show off her dancing skills.
Shot in 1939, Music In My Heart's greatest content concerns include a comedic disregard for authority, the use of alcohol to drown a broken heart and settling disputes with punches. As well, there is a brief scene showing the female lead character smoking a cigarette. All of these portrayals are typical of the era in which this black and white motion picture was made.
While this muffed trip to Pier 7 is unlikely to be life changing for the audience, that's okay. The greatest ambition of this meandering boy-meets-girl medley is merely to remind us we should have music-not money-in our hearts.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Music in my Heart.
Robert Gregory and Pat O’Malley argue about her practical approach to marriage. Do you think the heart or the head should govern such affairs? How do you feel about her friend Sascha’s advice to wed for wealth the fist time, then divorce and use the alimony to settle down with the one she loves?
For more information about the careers of Tony Martin and Rita Hayworth, check out the biography pages found on The Internet Movie Data Base:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032823/