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In the film Mr. Holland’s Opus, the actor Richard Dreyfuss plays a high school music teacher named Glenn Holland. The actress Jean Louisa Kelly plays a character named Rowena Morgan, one of Mr. Holland’s students.

In the course of the film Rowena sings the song Someone to Watch Over Me.

But the soundtrack album credits the song to Julia Fordham:

I guess the implication is that we never heard Jean Louisa Kelly singing the song in the film; she was just lip-synched to the recording of Julia Fordham.

Is that right?

3 Answers 3

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According to the IMDb Trivia

Jean Louisa Kelly, who plays Rowena, did all her own singing & dancing she is in fact a trained singer, dancer, and actress. In addition to movies she has done a number of stage productions including playing Snow White, the understudy for Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood in the original Broadway production of Into the Woods.

I haven't been able to discover why her version wasn't included on the soundtrack album. However, after reading some of the reviews for the album you linked to it appears that several people feel this is not the movie version of several of the songs.

I'll keep looking for the reason why Jean Louisa Kelly's version isn't on the soundtrack. In the meanwhile you can find it at the bottom of her page here.

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  • So did the song "Someone To Watch Over Me" appear in the film only once, sung by Kelly, or twice, sung once by Kelly and once by Fordham? Each alternative seems strange to me. Was the Fordham recording put on the album although it was never used in the film?
    – Chaim
    Jun 11, 2018 at 18:32
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    @Chaim I've never seen the movie so I'm not sure. I do know one of the complaints about the soundtrack is they didn't use the in movie version of some songs. They used John Lennon's rendition of his song "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" rather than the movie version with Richard Dreyfus' vocals.
    – Legion600
    Jun 11, 2018 at 19:32
  • She's a classic triple threat.
    – Tom
    Sep 1, 2022 at 0:51
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I found the answer from an interview Jean Louisa Kelly did with RetroZest (JLK posted this on her Facebook page end of May 2021):

https://retrozest.com/EP060

Skip to 23:20 where they talk about Mr Holland's Opus. Turns out JLK never auditioned for the role and she was going to do the vocals, but the actress had to be replaced and she got the part.

JLK's version of the song was not on the soundtrack as the "original girl" (cast) didn't sing. I wish I found out who the original girl was.

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    Welcome to Movies.SE! Can you edit your answer to quote the relevant section of the podcast? If the podcast ever becomes unavailable for any reason, your answer will become a lot less helpful.
    – F1Krazy
    Aug 29, 2022 at 13:14
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Here is a link to Julia Fordham singing watch over me. To my ear it is definitely not the person singing in the movie. So I suspect it is Jean singing in the movie. I think the movie version is much better.

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    The existing answer already states that it's Jean singing in the movie.
    – F1Krazy
    Jan 7, 2019 at 19:23

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