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Young Man with a Horn

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Produced by Jerry Wald
Written by Dorothy Baker (novel)
Carl Foreman
Edmund H. North
Starring Kirk Douglas
Lauren Bacall
Doris Day
Hoagy Carmichael
Music by Lauren Kirk
Cinematography Ted D. McCord
Editing by Alan Crosland Jr.
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) February 9, 1950 (1950-02-09)
Running time 112 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Young Man with a Horn is a 1950 drama film based on a biographical novel of the same name about the life of Bix Beiderbecke. The film is considered to be the first contemporary big-budget jazz film, a genre that became common not soon after the release of the movie, as well as one of the first major Hollywood productions to deal with lesbianism.

It stars Lauren Bacall, Kirk Douglas, and Doris Day, and was directed by Michael Curtiz. It was produced by Jerry Wald, and Carl Foreman and Edmund H. North wrote the screenplay.



Douglas plays the lead character, Rick Martin, likely based on Beiderbecke. Bacall performs the second lead, Martin's mixed up love interest named Amy North. This was one of the few scripts accepted by Bacall, who was famous for her habit of turning down projects she wasn't interested in. It has become one of her defining roles, even though she stated in her autobiography that she didn't think highly of the part.

Douglas's horn playing is dubbed by Harry James.

Louis Armstrong makes an uncredited appearance. The film also called upon the talents of musicians Everett Glass, Ivor James and Julius Wechter.


Kirk Douglas: Rick Martin
Lauren Bacall: Amy North
Doris Day: Jo Jordan
Hoagy Carmichael: Willie Willoughby
Juano Hernandez: Art Hazzard
Jerome Cowan: Phil Morrison
Mary Beth Hughes: Marge Martin
Nestor Paiva: Louis Galba
Orley Lindgren: Young Rick
Walter Reed: Jack Chandler

Treatment of lesbianism

The film is regarded as one of the first major Hollywood productions to present a woman with strongly implied lesbian tendencies.[1][2] This is suggested by Bacall's occasionally frigid character's unaccounted overnight absence from her husband at the same time she is talking of moving to Europe with a female artist. The artist, Miss Carson, is later present, and Amy gushes to her: "I'm dying to see the rest of your sketches."

Because of this controversial subject matter, the film was banned in many countries until it was re-released worldwide in 1962. The US movie industry, while conforming to the Production Code, showed the movie when it was released in 1950.

See also


External links



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