When her lover is killed, the wife of a wealthy man is convinced to fake her own death, which leads her into greater depths of depravity until fate reunites her with her long-lost son, who is unaware of her real identity.
David Lowell Rich
In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »
Prof. Joseph Elsner guides his protégé Frydryk Chopin through his formative years to early adulthood in Poland. At a recital in a duke's home Chopin insults the new Russian-installed governor, and must flee the country. The professor takes him to Paris, where he eventually comes under the wing and influence of novelist George Sand and rises to prominence in the music world, to the exclusion of his old friends and patriotic feelings towards Poland.Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Liberace, who was in 1945 performing as "Walter 'Buster' Keys," stated that he got the idea of having an ornate candelabra on his piano from the scene in this film when Merle Oberon carries a candelabra into the darkened salon and places it on the piano to reveal Chopin as the pianist rather than Franz Liszt. See more »
Almost all the pianos in the movie are artcase pianos made after the death of Chopin, the sound we hear is also of modern pianos. See more »
I should like to shake your hand, but i don't want to stop
If I play the melody and you play the bass, we should each have a free hand
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Entertaining, if inaccurate, biography is typical of '40s musical bios...
It must have taken courage to cast Cornel Wilde as the frail composer and Merle Oberon as George Sand, but in the Hollywood of 1940s all of the studios were busy churning out inaccurate biographies of musical greats. (Biggest miscasting was Cary Grant as Cole Porter in "Night and Day").
So, it was no surprise when Columbia cast Cornel Wilde, handsome, debonair and athletic, as the composer and proceeded to create a script that had little to do with Chopin's actual life. But they can be forgiven. Film buffs who love serious music will have no qualms with the superb piano work by Jose Iturbi. Wilde does an excellent job of fingering as though he is doing the actual playing--perhaps the reason he won an Oscar nomination.
Handsomely photographed in fine technicolor, it's certainly pleasing to look at and easy to listen to. The only major flaw is Paul Muni, whose acting style here is so grotesquely hammy it belongs to the silent period of film acting. He's given too much footage.
Movie buffs will certainly enjoy this one for the pleasure of seeing Cornel Wilde in his star-making role and Merle Oberon at the peak of her beauty. If it's accuracy you insist on, stay away. It takes all the artistic liberties imaginable--and then some!
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