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Rhythm on the River (1940)

Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and ... See full summary »

Writers:

Dwight Taylor, Jacques Théry (story) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bing Crosby ... Bob Sommers
Mary Martin ... Cherry Lane
Basil Rathbone ... Oliver Courtney
Oscar Levant ... Billy Starbuck
Oscar Shaw ... Charlie Goodrich
Charley Grapewin ... Uncle Caleb
Lillian Cornell ... Millie Starling
William Frawley ... Mr. Westlake
John Scott Trotter John Scott Trotter ... Orchestra Leader
Jeanne Cagney ... Country Cousin (as Jean Cagney)
Helen Bertram Helen Bertram ... Aunt Delia
Ken Carpenter Ken Carpenter ... Teddy Gardner (Announcer)
Charles Lane ... Bernard Schwartz
Harry Barris ... Bass Sax Player
Wingy Manone Wingy Manone ... Wingy Manone
Edit

Storyline

Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and then try to sell their songs under their own name. The problem is every song publisher thinks they're copying Courtney's style. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

songwriter | songwriting | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Some singers! Some swingers! The hum-dinger of hum-dingers!

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ajan sävel See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a shot in the trailer of the two stars, Bing Crosby and Mary Martin, working together on some music. It does not appear in the final film. See more »

Quotes

Bob Sommers: Oh, I don't know. She's gone into some kind of wing-ding...
Uncle Caleb: Wing-ding? Gosh, I thought it was a cyclone.
[reference to Grapewin's role in "The Wizard of Oz"]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Arena: The Orson Welles Story - Part 1 (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't It a Shame About Mame
(uncredited)
Music by James V. Monaco
Lyrics by Johnny Burke
Sung by Mary Martin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Adorable romantic comedy
22 November 2018 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

Anyone want to see Basil Rathbone in a comedy? You can either catch him in The Court Jester, or you can rent Rhythm on the River, a cute Bing Crosby vehicle about two songwriters who fall in love. It was Mary Martin's second movie, and she didn't make too many, so catch the "singing Jean Arthur" while you can!

Basil Rathbone is a famous composer of popular tunes, and Oscar Levant is his faithful piano player. At a party, he's asked by his guests to share a new song he's working on. He excuses himself to the other room, and Bing Crosby rushes in with some crumpled sheet music. Turns out, Basil hires out and doesn't write his own melodies! Right after presenting the new song to his guests, Oscar takes Basil aside and shows him a telegram with bad news. Turns out, Basil hires out and doesn't write his own lyrics-and his lyricist just died! When he's in need of a new writer, he meets Mary Martin, but will Bing ever meet her?

Since this a cute romantic comedy, it's safe to say the answer is yes. With classic quips from Oscar, charm and sweetness from Bing, and class and good intentions from Basil, this is an adorable musical. Basil doesn't sing, but Bing and Mary come up with some great tunes that you'll be humming after the credits roll. "That's for Me" is particularly cute, and "Only Forever" was nominated for an Oscar in 1941.


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