What do Frank Sinatra and Perry Mason's Barbara Hale have in common?

The answer is a musical from 1943!

CBS Television Distribution

No, this isn't a trap set for Batman by that nefarious Riddler. 

Here's a serious item for every trivia fanatic out there: Barbara Hale, aka Perry Mason's Della Street had a career crossover very early on with a certain famous crooner.

Barbara Hale and ol' Blue Eyes himself, the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra, made their feature film acting debuts in the same movie.

Can you name it?

The movie, released in 1943, was called Higher and Higher. The musical comedy also starred Victor Borge and Jack Haley and tells the riches-to-rags story of a man who's too broke to pay his servants. With seven months' wages in arrears, the conniving butler hatches a scheme to make do with what they already have.

While Hale certainly looked the part of the movie's Katherine Keating, this was pitched and sold as a Sinatra vehicle. The movie's lobby card and posters even boasted "The Sinatra Show!" 

Here's another interesting tidbit: Higher and Higher also starred the golden-throated Mel Tormé as the movie's Marty. 

The story existed first as a play, and RKO later purchased the rights for $15,000. The four songs Sinatra sings in the picture were specifically written to accommodate his singing style. While Sinatra is the star of the show, he's billed third because of contract stipulations for actors Michele Morgan and Jack Haley.

While Sinatra had appeared as himself in three earlier movies, Higher and Higher was the first movie in which he had to actually act. His acumen as a screen performer would later lead him to the top of that industry when he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor with his role in From Here to Eternity.

Have you seen Higher and Higher? Do you remember seeing Frank Sinatra and Barbara Hale together? Let us know in the comments section below!

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5 Comments

Cougar90 17 days ago
"Fizwilly", 1967, Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Feldon
MrsPhilHarris 24 days ago
I don’t recall this movie but my mother looked like Barbara in that photo above.
Runeshaper 24 days ago
Sounds like a GREAT movie with an EXCELLENT cast! Thanks for the info, MeTV (-:
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