Night Song (1947) Dana Andrews, Merle Oberon, Ethel Barrymore, Hoagy Carmichael Movie Review

Night Song (1947)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Dana Andrews in Night Song (1947)

Blind Woman's Bluff

When her friends take her to a back alley dive bar where Chick's (Hoagy Carmichael) Swing Band plays Cathy (Merle Oberon) is not in the least bit impressed as she is a classical music snob. But in between numbers she hears piano player Dan (Dana Andrews) playing something more to her liking except when she goes to speak to him discovers that not only is he blind but also bitter. Despite this Cathy works her way in to Dan's life with the help of Chick, making out her name is Mary and that she is also blind whilst trying to persuade Dan to have surgery to restore his sight.

That synopsis makes "Night Song" two things; on one it seems typical and on the other hand ridiculous. Let me take the typical past first as of course we have a romantic drama with a series of twists where we have a woman in love with a man bitter and cynical caused by his disability. Right from the word go you can guess two things are going to happen; one is that love's course will not be simple and with Dan being cynical he will talk like a bad character from a detective story. Maybe I am being a cynic but back in the 40s when "Night Song" was made they didn't know how to have a leading man play disability and so we have over playing of the bitterness.

Merle Oberon in Night Song (1947)

The other thing I mention is that "Night Song" is ridiculous with Cathy deciding to trick Dan in to thinking she is blind so that he will be interested her and not so cold and bitter. But it has to be ridiculous because of the twists which are to follow and sadly I can't reveal them as in truth they are what the movie are all about. What I will say and hint at is that Dan gets close to Mary but then later on meets her as Cathy and gets close to her which of course complicates matters.

Now I have already mentioned that the character of Dan suffers from Hollywood not knowing how to deal with disability on the screen especially when it comes to the leading man. As such Dana Andrews goes to town in trying to make Dan a strong character but ends up forcing it. At the same time Merle Oberon whilst attractive has to over play her part to match up to Andrews making it all too full on.

What this all boils down to is that "Night Song" is entertaining but it does suffer because at the time of release Hollywood still didn't know how to deal with disability when it comes to the main characters and over does things.