Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Interrupted Melody 1955

      This film is based on a book by Marjorie Lawrence titled Interrupted Melody: The story of My Life.  Marjorie Lawrence lives on her family farm in Australia.  She tries out in the Sun Aria at Geelong, Victoria, Australia in 1928 and she is selected to study with Cecile Gilly, a voice coach in Paris.  She begins singing opera programs in Monte Carlo and then in different countries.  She sings at the Met in New York and establishes herself as one of the great singers of her time.  She meets Tom King when she is just starting to perform in programs and he comes later to see her again.  She wants to marry him but he doesn’t want to interfere with her career.  He is just establishing himself as a physician in obstetrics.  Suddenly, Marjorie becomes ill and this changes their lives.  She has polio and she can still sing but she is unable to walk.
     Tom remains at Marjorie’s side and they move to Florida where the warm weather may help her instead of the cold in New York.  He tries to help her when she is in deep despair.  Their lives are falling apart, money is tight and Tom decides to reestablish his practice in New York.  While Tom is away, Marjorie begins to sing for servicemen who are also disabled like she has become.  This is a very inspiring movie with Marjorie on top of the world, at the bottom and pulling herself back up out of her despair.  3 ½* (I liked this movie)

106 min, Bio directed by Curtis Bernhardt with Glenn Ford, Eleanor Parker, Roger Moore, Cecil Kellaway, Peter Leeds, Evelyn Ellis, Walter Baldwin, Ann Codee, Leopold Sachse, Stephen Bekassy.

Note:  Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 68% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 57 reviews, Letterboxd 3.1* out of 5* with 95 reviews, TCM Leonard Maltin 3* out of 4*, user rating average 3.68 out of 5.
Special Note:  Filmed at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Culver City, California.  Glenn Ford was at a lull in his career but he made it a condition when he took this role that he would receive top billing.  This right belonged to Eleanor Parker and she said she cared more about the project than the billing.  She regretted this decision because she really wanted to receive credit as the star of this picture.  She said Ford tried to upstage her at every chance by forcing her to turn her back to the camera to interact with him?  Parker studied the opera songs and she sang the songs but an octave lower.  The higher octave notes were sung by Eileen Farrell.  It was said that Marjorie Lawrence was disappointed not to have been asked to dub the songs.  This film just broke even at the box office, earning a profit of $101,000.

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