The other day, I mentioned how Frank Sinatra recorded a bunch of offbeat, charming movie songs around the era of 1960, one of which was "High Hopes." The song was from the 1959 movie, A Hole in the Head, which he starred in. And he had a pretty big hit with it. And the song, written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, did just fine on its own, winning the Academy Award as Best Song.
I was going to play Sinatra's hit recording, but then I found this clip from the movie, and decided to use it instead. Not just because it's from the film, but mainly because of who he sings it with, a little kid named Eddie Hodges.
That name might be familiar to some of you, but you just can't place it. Or it means nothing to you. But you likely do know of him, very well. Only a few years early, he co-starred on Broadway in The Music Man as the lisping, shy Winthrop Paroo, the kid who introduced the songs, "Gary, Indiana," and "The Wells Fargo Wagon."
Here they are together, from A Hole in the Head. By the way, there's something interesting about the scene. If you pay attention, you'll note that the scene is done almost entirely in one shot. In fact, there's only one cut near the end, and they finish the song that way. I have a feeling that in a perfect world they'd have loved to have done the song in just that one shot (otherwise, why stick with it for almost the full song). But my guess is that, as you'll see, there's something at the very end that probably required cutting early so that they could get the end right without having to re-do the entire song over and over until they got it just right.
I also wonder if they got the first part in just one take. I say that because at the :32-second mark, if you listen closely, Eddie Hodges gets the words wrong, and Frank Sinatra sort of gives him a pointed, encouraging look to prod him on. And the kept filming. Now, they may have done more takes and decided they they liked the charm of this version.
But however many takes it took to work out, they got it just fine.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor