Higher and Higher was one of Rodgers&Hart's lesser Broadway musicals it only had a run of 84 performances on Broadway in 1940. Yet it yielded one of their bigger hits It Never Entered My Mind.
1943 was the year of the Musician's Union Strike against the recording industry. To get their material out, Frank Sinatra recorded the songs from Higher and Higher with an acapella chorus for Columbia. Bing Crosby recorded songs from his film Dixie in the same manner for Decca. Both of them were denounced by the president of the union, James C. Petrillo as strikebreakers and both did not cross the picket line again. The strike wasn't settle completely until 1944 although Decca broke ranks earlier from the other record companies and settled earlier than Columbia, RCA Victor and the others.
Back in 1944 movie critics weren't given special screenings in order to review soon to be released films, but had to wait for a movie's regular opening to write their reviews. According to the host of American Movie Classics, when "Higher and Higher" first opened, film critics were unable to review Frank Sinatra's performance because the screams of adulation from the overwhelmingly young female audience drowned out all sound.
The first time I ever saw/heard Frank Sinatra was in the late 1960s and I couldn't understand why the women of my mother's generation made such a fuss about Mr. Sinatra. But after seeing this sensual and romantic crooner in "Higher and Higher" I can easily grasp why thousands of young women slept in the streets in order to be the first on line to see the young and appealing Mr. Sinatra.
Like its Broadway predecessor, Higher and Higher suffers from a rather thin script. But it features a group of fine comic actors and performers, able to inject life into it. These include: