Recommended A serviceable - but no better than that - remake of Ball of Fire (1941), A Song is Born (1948) is more a curiosity in the way Howard Hawks, the director of both films, reworks the original material, much of it written by Billy Wilder. It's been a while since I've seen Ball of Fire and yet there is a strong, almost creepy sense of d j vu watching A Song is Born; not only is a lot of the diahlogue the same, but the sets, the actors, and specific gestures mirror the original film exactly. Though overall a lesser film, A Song is Born is notable for bringing together some of "the coolest men in jazz," as the ads truthfully promised, including Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Mel Powell, Charlie Barnett, Tommy Dorsey, and Benny Goodman, among many others. Not only do they get a lot of screentime and the opportunity to interact with one another, their performances are ca...Read the entire review
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