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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Music in My Heart (1940)

"I've got music in my heart,
Oh, what music in my heart!
I can't eat, I can't talk without symphonies playing,
I've got feet that won't walk without swinging and swaying..."

- Robert Gregory (Tony Martin), singing the title song

Review By: David Krauss   
Published: September 06, 2004

Stars: Tony Martin, Rita Hayworth
Other Stars: Edith Fellows, Alan Mowbray, Eric Blore, George Tobias
Director: Joseph Santley

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:09m:56s
Release Date: September 07, 2004
UPC: 043396049697
Genre: musical

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Rita Hayworth was still a young starlet when she made Music in My Heart, yet it's a wonder her fledgling career survived this flimsy B musical. It's also a wonder Columbia chose to transfer such a plodding programmer to DVD when so many worthier Hayworth films remain unreleased. Stranger still, Columbia expects consumers to cough up a whopping $24.95 for a 69-minute feature with no extras that was rightfully forgotten a week or two after its 1940 premiere. Look, I adore Rita as much as the next guy (well, maybe a little more), but it's brutally apparent after the first few frames that Music in My Heart ain't no Gilda, nor can it begin to compare to the two musicals Hayworth made with Fred Astaire, You'll Never Get Rich and You Were Never Lovelier. I'm all for releasing obscure classics; just price them fairly, so people will buy them.

As a barebones bargain title, this Columbia curio might have some merit. Hayworth's diehard fans will certainly appreciate watching the up-and-coming actress in an apprenticeship role, before Put the Blame on Mame transformed her into The Love Goddess. But if you're looking for one of ravishing Rita's streamlined vehicles, look elsewhere. Filled with pedestrian songs and plot contrivances galore, Music in My Heart creeps and creaks along, testing the patience of even the most steadfast old movie buff. A bit of forced charm occasionally squeaks through, but even Hayworth's beauty and spirit can't salvage this featherweight trifle.

Of course, Joseph Santley's assembly-line film was never conceived with Rita in mind. Designed to show off the pipes of singer Tony Martin, the plot revolves around strapping musical understudy Robert Gregory (Martin), who's fingered for deportation when he inadvertently allows his visa to expire. Immigration authorities demand he catch the midnight boat for Europe, but as his taxi speeds toward the dock, it collides with another yellow cab carrying Patricia O'Malley (Hayworth), an upwardly mobile tenement girl scurrying to board the same ship so she can marry middle-aged millionaire Charles Gardner (Alan Mowbray).

The accident delays Robert and Patricia just long enough so the boat conveniently sails without them, turning Robert into an unwitting fugitive. Patricia offers him shelter in her father's Russian restaurant, where her matchmaking sister (Edith Fellows) plots to bring the two together. Meanwhile, the jilted Charles and his devoted valet Griggs (Eric Blore) hatch their own scheme to win back his wayward fiancée. As Patricia ponders her future (complicated by predictable manipulations and misunderstandings), Robert warbles a handful of pleasant but forgettable tunes.

The DVD packaging heralds Music in My Heart as Hayworth's first musical comedy, but all the accomplished dancer gets to do is swing her hips, twirl, and flash a few toothy grins in one far too brief scene. Other songs are presented without any panache, and even the Oscar-nominated It's a Blue World and the sprightly title tune fail to provide the shot of adrenaline the film desperately needs.

Hayworth looks gorgeous throughout, although her acting lacks the polish it would soon gain with better scripts. Martin makes a serviceable leading man, and his strong, full voice serves the songs well. His stiff delivery, however, saps the numbers of any excitement, further stalling the film and making one realize why Martin's recording success never segued into movie stardom. As is often the case with B films, the supporting cast files the best performances, with George Tobias as Rita's father and the irrepressible Blore trying their hardest to punch up the cliché-ridden story. The two labor valiantly, but Music in My Heart remains down for the count.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: C


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: High definition remastering helps the Music in My Heart transfer far surpass the film itself, with crisp images, lovely close-ups, and solid gray level variance enhancing this run-of-the-mill feature. A fair bit of grain and faint but noticeable speckling remain, but are understandable elements of a vintage movie. It's obvious considerable care has been lavished on Music in My Heart, and Hayworth fans should appreciate the effort.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The two-channel mono track sports plenty of presence and depth, and little of the tinny quality that so often plagues films from this period. Martin's vocals come across with power and fullness of tone, while dialogue is always clear and comprehendible. Very few age-related defects could be heard on this clean, smooth track.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Japanese with remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Gilda, The Lady from Shanghai, You Were Never Lovelier
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Trailers for a trio of Hayworth classics are the only extras offered. With so much room left on the disc, it's a shame a Hayworth documentary, still gallery, or even a Tony Martin commentary couldn't have been included to entice consumers.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Only rabid Hayworth collectors will want to shell out $24.95 for this mediocre 69-minute musical. A high quality transfer and above-average audio will certainly please fans, but can't take the sting out of the inflated price.


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