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There's a Girl in My Heart (1949)

A Gay-Nineties musical set in NYC's Bowery and East-Side explores the life of its inhabitants---an Irish policeman and his tap-dancing daughter and music-hall wife; a German professor of ... See full summary »


Arthur Dreifuss


Arthur Hoerl (original screenplay), McElbert Moore (original screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Bowman ... Terrence Dowd
Elyse Knox ... Claire Adamson
Gloria Jean ... Ruth Kroner
Peggy Ryan ... Sally Mullin
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Johnny Colton (as Lon Chaney)
Ludwig Donath ... Professor Joseph Kroner
Ray McDonald ... Danny Kroner (as Ray MacDonald)
Joel Marston ... Doctor Henlein
Richard Lane ... Sergeant Mullin
Irene Ryan ... Mrs. Mullin
Lanny Simpson Lanny Simpson ... Lennie Dowd
Paul Guilfoyle ... Father Callaghan
Iris Adrian ... Lulu Troy
Kay Anne Nelson Kay Anne Nelson ... Carol Anne
Martin Garralaga ... Luigi


A Gay-Nineties musical set in NYC's Bowery and East-Side explores the life of its inhabitants---an Irish policeman and his tap-dancing daughter and music-hall wife; a German professor of music and his singing daughter; and an Italian café-owner, a kindly priest, a struggling young doctor and a saloon-keeper. And a political ward-heeler, Terrence Dowd, who has a deceptive and dishonest plan to sell them all out in order to build a fight arena. But he meets his match in property-owner Claire Adamson. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

19 December 1949 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Excellent, pleasant musical
31 December 2005 | by Tom_BarristerSee all my reviews

"There's a Girl in My Heart", set in New York City at the turn of the century, is surprisingly well done. The plot makes sense, the dialog is realistic to the era, and the sets and costumes are authentic. The acting is excellent, with such luminaries as Lon Chaney Jr., Irene Ryan, Lee Bowman, and Elyse Knox all plying their trade well, accompanied by character actors such as Ludwig Donath and Paul Guilfoyle.

The story itself isn't anything new: a scheming man tries to buy up a block in the tenement area of New York with the idea of tearing it down and building a fight arena. Others, who don't want to see the residents and businesses put out in the street, try to stop him. The usual complications ensue, and eventually the man sees the error of his ways, repents, and everybody lives happily ever after. Although the story follows a well-trodden path, it's carried out in a tasteful way.

The music and dance sequences are charming, while respectful to the era. Peggy Ryan and then husband Ray McDonald perform a few dance routines, and while they aren't as energetic and charismatic as Ryan and Donald O'Connor were, they're still nimble and graceful. Gloria Jean (who is also an excellent actress) sings three songs, including an excerpt from Scubert's version of "Ave Maria". While her voice, which deepened somewhat as she entered her twenties, doesn't hit the higher notes that it did a decade earlier, it's still very agile, has quite a bit of range and perfect quality.

I haven't seen this movie on television in quite a while, which is sad, since it's very well done. It's hard to find this movie anywhere, but you can get a copy of it from Gloria Jean herself on her website. IMDb policy doesn't allow the posting of URLs, but you can find her website by using a search engine and her full name of "Gloria Jean Schoonover.".

If you're a fan of the old-fashioned family-oriented musicals, don't miss this one.

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