26 April 2013 | bkoganbing
History and Entertainment
It's kind of hard to separate Hit Parade Of 1943 from its time of origin. Only people my age might barely remember the Hit Parade on television and radio and for those of the World War II generation they would remember it best. If it were not for the presence of Susan Hayward in the cast Hit Parade Of 1943 would be totally forgotten even with two Oscar nominations to its credit.
It's also a Republic Pictures product so it won't have the production values that something from one of the major studios would give us. That being said it's still a nice snapshot of the wartime home front topped off by the radio broadcast of a war bond drive.
Susan Hayward plays an aspiring song writer who sends a song to publishers John Carroll and Walter Catlett who make some cosmetic changes and it becomes a hit. Of course she and pal Eve Arden plan some sweet revenge, but of course you know it all works out in the end.
The song Change Of Heart was Oscar nominated for Best Song and the film was nominated also for best Musical Scoring. John Carroll had a nice lusty baritone and did a few musical films of the B variety mostly. He's best know musically for being Kathryn Grayson's leading man in Rio Rita. He also did some straight dramatic roles and most notably there as the second lead to John Wayne in The Flying Tigers. Hayward whom we know sang in I'll Cry Tomorrow as the screen Lillian Roth might well have done her own brief vocals here, but there's no information either way.
Hit Parade Of 1943 is best viewed as first history and then entertainment. All four of the leading players I mentioned fill out the roles you would expect of them. And the musical acts consist of big bands Count Basie, Ray McKinley and Freddie Martin. The groups the Music Maids and the Golden Gate trio are here and as a real treat the vocalist with Count Basie is Dorothy Dandridge. That's enough reason to see Hit Parade Of 1943.