Hard Way, The (1943)

The Hard Way (1943), directed by Vincent Sherman.

Weepy show-biz drama with hard-bitten, ruthless Ida Lupino doing anything to get her kid sister Joan Leslie out of their grimy mining town. They latch on to song and dance team Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson; much yelling, crying and back-stabbing thereafter.

Quite a bit of singing and dancing with one fine revue number.

According to this the story was suggested by the life of Ginger Rogers and she was offered the role, not of "herself", but of the older woman. One of the early lines regarding Joan Leslie: "Doesn't she remind you of Ginger Rogers?" A lot of the tunes are from her films.

We have two suicides here. I thought that was forbidden by the Motion Picture Production Code, but I don't see it listed in the article. In any case, the Code was not iron-clad.

Warner Archive title, available for rent from ClassicFlix.