Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB

USA, 1943Screenplay by , , Cinematography by , Produced by Music by Production Design by , Costume Design by Helen RoseFilm Editing by .

It’s the turn of the century and four singers perform for coins in a saloon, then get themselves fired when the quality of their work draws too many patrons away from the bar. Leader of the pack tells the others not to give up even though and are fed up with show business, while is ready to follow Payne to the ends of the earth even though he shows no signs of sealing the marriage deal with her. Payne makes them famous on San Francisco’s Barbary Coast with street performances that are lucrative thanks to local establishments paying the group money to perform far from their doorways, which Payne then transforms into ownership of a number of entertainment venues throughout the city. It’s not enough to conquer his own world, though, he longs to break into Knob Hill aristocracy and sees his chance when a society gal with an old name and a thinning wallet () catches his eye. Rejected by the man she loves, Faye goes to England and becomes a singing sensation (despite the fact that her style of singing could only be popular in the forties) while Payne descends into the bitterness of a poor choice of matrimony. The plotting is routine and uninspired but the colours are bright and a number of songs are catchy (including the Oscar winning “You’ll Never Know”). Faye particularly makes the film go by easily with her marked sincerity.

Academy Award:  Best Original Song (“You’ll Never Know”)
Nomination:  Best Cinematography-Colour

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