Young Man With A Horn

  • 1950
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Musical

Inspired by the tragic life of jazz cornet player Bix Beiderbecke, who died at age 28 in 1931 after a long battle with alcoholism, YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN stars Kirk Douglas as the great musician's fictional counterpart, Rick Martin. While pianist Smoke Willoughby (Hoagy Carmichael) reminisces about the talented trumpeter, Rick's life is shown in flashback,...read more

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Inspired by the tragic life of jazz cornet player Bix Beiderbecke, who died at age 28 in 1931 after a long battle with alcoholism, YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN stars Kirk Douglas as the great musician's fictional counterpart, Rick Martin. While pianist Smoke Willoughby (Hoagy Carmichael)

reminisces about the talented trumpeter, Rick's life is shown in flashback, beginning with his youthful fascination with music and Art Hazzard (Juano Hernandez), a black jazz musician. Rick saves up to buy a trumpet and learns to play under Art's tutelage, and by age 20 Rick is performing with a

dance band that includes Smoke and torch singer Jo Jordon (Doris Day). He's quickly frustrated by the band's dull sound, however, and gets himself and Smoke fired. The two continue to play in cheap dives, broke but having fun, after which Rick ends up in New York City, where he finds Jo singing

with a new band. Rick's brilliant playing soon makes him a sensation, but stardom brings trouble in the form of a rich, neurotic, beautiful, and controlling Amy North (Lauren Bacall), who both marries Rick and ruins him--although the film's ending suggest that he may be on his way back, with the

help of the loyal Smoke and Jo. YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN suffers from excessive melodrama, but boasts several fine performances and plenty of enjoyable jazz. Douglas studied under trumpeter Larry Sullivan and learned how to "play" convincingly, although all his trumpeting is dubbed by Harry James,

the film's musical adviser (some of Carmichael's piano was dubbed by Buddy Cole, and Jimmy Zito handled Hernandez's playing).

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Inspired by the tragic life of jazz cornet player Bix Beiderbecke, who died at age 28 in 1931 after a long battle with alcoholism, YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN stars Kirk Douglas as the great musician's fictional counterpart, Rick Martin. While pianist Smoke Will… (more)

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