The song of the day for Tuesday, October 1, 2013 is “The Man That Got Away.”
About This Song
“The Man That Got Away” is, of course, from the 1954 film A Star Is Born, starring Judy Garland and James Mason and directed by George Cukor. Originally 181 minutes long, the film was brutally cut at the insistence of the movie theater owners. It’s widely thought that the cut version cost Judy Garland the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress, which instead went to Grace Kelly for A Country Girl.
The song was written by Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin and its performance in the film is extraordinary. It was filmed dozens of times, with several different sets and costumes. That said, the final result is legendary and remains one of the greatest musical performances in film.
I agree with Alec Wilder regarding this song: “This is a true Arlen song. If you are good rememberer, try to think of anyone else who might have written it. I don’t see who it could have been but Arlen.”
About This Version
Today’s version of “The Man That Got Away” is from Tony Bennett’s 1961 album Tony Sings For Two, where he is accompanied by Ralph Sharon. While many male singers changed the man to the girl or the gal that got away, Bennett records the lyrics as written, which we really appreciate. Other than Judy Garland, I think that Bennett’s recording is one of the finest of this iconic song.
And because I love it so, here’s the scene from A Star is Born: