The Hard Way (1943)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Family Drama, Showbiz Drama  |   Release Date - Feb 20, 1943 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 109 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

The American screen rarely depicts honest-to-goodness working class folks with any degree of truth, then or now, but that is exactly what you get in The Hard Way. At least in the opening scenes of this backstage melodrama, which then segues directly into an equally realistic depiction of the dying days of vaudeville. But this is Hollywood, after all, and before you can say 42nd Street Joan Leslie has become a major star without exhibiting much in the way of talent. Leslie, for all her charm, is sorely miscast and the only reason The Hard Way succeeds in its own minor way is due to the customary solid performance by Ida Lupino, whose back-stabbing "stage sister" gives Mama Rose a run for her money, a turn that won the actress the New York Film Critics Award.