A mixture of biopic and musical, this vehicle stars Susan Hayward as Jane Froman, an incredibly popular singing star in the 40s who had to battle back from terrible wounds suffered in a plane crash after her first performance for American troops overseas during WWII. The film begins with Froman’s triumphant comeback, and flashes back to the events leading up to this. The pic is efficiently put together, and Hayward’s lip-synching (Froman dubbed in her own singing) is unusually convincing. But the crash itself is disappointingly undramatic.
The only option is the original mono. This certainly does avoid the issue of unfortunate wraparound sound one encounters almost inevitably with stereo remixes, though the option of such a track might have been nice for the songs themselves. Meanwhile, as to the track itself, the music sounds quite good, given half-century-plus age of the film, though there is a bit of harshness. More troublesome is the vast disparity in volume when the film shifts from song to dialogue.
The print is in very nice shape indeed, with no damage to speak of, and, for all intents and purposes, no grain. The colours are strong and lush in that vintage Technicolor way, and the overall effect is very pleasing to the eye. In sum, the picture restoration seems to have been more successful than whatever was done (if anything) for the sound.
No commentary track here, but there are a few interesting featurettes. “Holding the High Notes: The Life of Jane Froman” and “Capturing a Song: Bringing Jane Froman to the Screen” do solid jobs of exactly what their titles suggest, though they also appear to be a single item split into two. “John Burn: A Husband Remembers” is a vintage audio interview set to a montage of pictures. Beyond this, one has the usual set of poster and still galleries, restoration comparison and theatrical trailer.
An entertaining film, one that is of some historical interest and that fans of vintage musicals will enjoy, though it is certainly no towering classic.