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Young Man with a Horn

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Overview

The life of tragic jazz great Bix Beiderbecke is given the "a clef" treatment in Warner Bros. Young Man With a Horn. Kirk Douglas plays the Beiderbecke character, here named Rick Martin. An ace trumpter player, Martin is one of the few white musicians to flourish in the black-dominated jazz scene of the 1920s. Chafing against the dullness of the "respectable" orchestras for whom he works, Martin finds at least two kindred spirits in the forms of torch singer Jo Jordan Doris Day and piano player Smoke Willoughby ...
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Overview

The life of tragic jazz great Bix Beiderbecke is given the "a clef" treatment in Warner Bros. Young Man With a Horn. Kirk Douglas plays the Beiderbecke character, here named Rick Martin. An ace trumpter player, Martin is one of the few white musicians to flourish in the black-dominated jazz scene of the 1920s. Chafing against the dullness of the "respectable" orchestras for whom he works, Martin finds at least two kindred spirits in the forms of torch singer Jo Jordan Doris Day and piano player Smoke Willoughby Hoagy Carmichael. He rises to popularity with his own group, and along the way falls under the spell of wealthy jazz patroness Lauren Bacall. After marrying Bacall, Martin begins neglecting his music and turns more and more to alcohol. When he skips one of her fancy parties to attend the funeral of his mentor Juano Hernandez, Bacall angrily smashes all his jazz records, effectively ending what was never a very solid relationship. Crawling into a bottle, Martin loses his touch with the trumpet-a heartbreaking sequence, in which he goes to pieces in the middle of the pop standard "With a Song in My Heart." Unlike the real Beiderbecke, who died of alcoholism at the age of 28, Rick Martin is rescued by his faithful friends Day and Carmichael. Kirk Douglas' trumpeteering in Young Man with a Horn was effectively dubbed by Harry James, while jazz pianists Buddy Cole and Jimmy Zito make uncredited soundtrack contributions. The film was adapted by Carl Foreman and Edmund H. North from a novel by Dorothy Baker.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
One of the best jazz films Hollywood has made, Young Man With a Horn indulges in many of the clichés associated with such films, but it treats the clichés with respect, giving even the most familiar moments an undeniable power. Much of the credit goes to Michael Curtiz, who seems to feel a real affinity for the loneliness and yearning infused in the story. Curtiz does an excellent job of capturing the sometimes stifling solitude that is found in the city, as well as the frenetic joy and release that music can bring. He also helps Kirk Douglas to give a savagely intense, muscular performance. His Rick Martin is an explosion waiting to happen, and Douglas pulls the viewer in from the outset and rarely lets him go. Lauren Bacall doesn't find enough variety in her performance, but she's effective. Doris Day does better; her part is as one-note in its way as Bacall's, but she manages to flesh it out -- and has the added benefit of being in tip-top vocal shape. Harry James' dubbing of Douglas' horn is another major asset. Young Man bogs down in a few places, but not for long, and it gives Douglas a chance to shine.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2008
  • EAN: 8427328041102
  • Original Release: 1950
  • Source: Blue Moon Imports
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 47,170

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kirk Douglas Rick Martin
Lauren Bacall Amy North
Doris Day Jo Jordan
Hoagy Carmichael Smoke Willoughby
Juano Hernandez Art Hazard
Jerome Cowan Phil Morrison
Mary Beth Hughes Margo Martin
Nestor Paiva Louis Galba
Orley Lindgren Rick, as a boy
Walter Reed Jack Chandler
Alex Gerry Dr. Weaver
Paul E. Burns
Frank Cady Hotel Clerk
Hugh Charles
Dick Cogan Intern
Paul Dubov Maxie
Everett Glass Man Leading Song
James Griffith Walt
Helene Heigh Tweedy Woman
Jack Kruschen Cab Driver
Murray Leonard Bartender
Keye Luke Ramundo
Hugh Murray Doctor
Robert O'Neill Bum
Dean Riesner Joe
Larry Rio Owner
Dan Seymour Mike
Jack Shea Male Nurse
Burk Symon Pawnbroker
Bill Walker Black Minister
Julius Wechter Boy Drummer
Sid Kane Man
Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
Milo Anderson Costumes/Costume Designer
Everett A. Brown Sound/Sound Designer
Edward Carrere Art Director
Alan Crosland Jr. Editor
Carl Foreman Screenwriter
Ray Heindorf Musical Direction/Supervision
Ted D. McCord Cinematographer
Edmund H. North Screenwriter
Alex North Score Composer
Jerry Wald Producer
William Wallace Set Decoration/Design
Perc Westmore Makeup
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Customer Reviews

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    Posted August 3, 2012

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