A Song to Remember

Overview

One of the most successful filmed biographies of the 1940s, A Song to Remember alleges to be the true story of Polish composer Frederick Chopin. Actually, it has about as much relation to truth as a Heckle and Jeckle cartoon, but with such gorgeous creatures as Cornel Wilde and Merle Oberon in the leads, who cared? Though Wilde, as Chopin, is the nominal lead, top billing goes to Paul Muni, hamming his way through the role of Chopin's mentor Professor Joseph Elsner. Reportedly, Muni developed his characterization...
See more details below
Other sellers (DVD)
  • All (7) from $16.86   
  • New (5) from $16.86   
  • Used (2) from $29.72   

Overview

One of the most successful filmed biographies of the 1940s, A Song to Remember alleges to be the true story of Polish composer Frederick Chopin. Actually, it has about as much relation to truth as a Heckle and Jeckle cartoon, but with such gorgeous creatures as Cornel Wilde and Merle Oberon in the leads, who cared? Though Wilde, as Chopin, is the nominal lead, top billing goes to Paul Muni, hamming his way through the role of Chopin's mentor Professor Joseph Elsner. Reportedly, Muni developed his characterization long before shooting started, refusing to allow the performances of the other actors to alter his interpretation in the slightest. This may explain why Muni seems to be acting in a vacuum, frequently completely out of rhythm with the film and its characters. Otherwise, Cornel Wilde does a nice job as the tempestuous Chopin, whose patriotic fervency frequently takes priority over his music. Merle Oberon plays novelist George Sand, who despite her preference for male clothing proves to be "all woman" during her torrid, decade-long affair with Chopin. The film's money scene--the one that everyone talked about, keeping the picture "alive" long after its original release--occurs towards the end, when the tubercular Chopin begins hemorrhaging as he performs his "Polonaise" for the first time Jose Iturbi is heard on the soundtrack, "doubling" for Wilde's ivory-tickling. Sumptuously photographed in Technicolor by Tony Gaudio and Allen M. Davey, A Song to Remember was the usually penurious Columbia Pictures' top production of 1945. Fifteen years later, the studio hoped to make lightning strike twice with its Franz Liszt biopic Song Without End, but the magic just wasn't there.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Like almost every Hollywood biopic of a musical figure, A Song to Remember raises the question, "Why did they bother to claim it was based on a real person?" Even by Hollywood standards, the liberties taken with reality are excessive. Audiences at the time didn't care, flocking to see a picture with a love story tinged with patriotism (albeit of a foreign sort). Modern viewers may not be so willing to forgive, not because they resent the historical inaccuracies, but because the newly created story is dreary, cliché, and unconvincing -- and is not helped by the dialogue containing its share of unintentional howlers. Still, A Song to Remember has its delights, chief among them is the gorgeous Chopin music, which is presented in easily accessible but still enjoyable doses. The hardy Cornel Wilde never comes across as sickly, but he turns in a surprisingly good performance, especially considering the quality of the material with which he must frequently work. He and Merle Oberon also make an especially attractive pair, and they are set off in a glorious production that doesn't stint on color or design. Paul Muni's performance is a bit strange, but also somehow endearing, and Charles Vidor's direction is smooth and efficient. Indeed, if the viewer is willing to set aside the screenplay, there's a great deal to enjoy in A Song to Remember.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/16/2010
  • UPC: 043396354890
  • Original Release: 1945
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures Home
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 4,531

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Paul Muni Professor Joseph Elsner
Merle Oberon George Sand
Cornel Wilde Frederic Chopin
Stephen Bekassy Franz Liszt
George Coulouris Louis Pleyel
Nina Foch Constantia
Sig Arno Henri Dupont
Howard Freeman Kalbrenner
George Macready Alfred DeMusset
Claire Du Brey Mme. Mercier
Frank Puglia M. Jollet
Fern Emmett Mme. Lambert
Sybil Merritt Isabelle Chopin
Walter Bonn Major Domo
Eugene Borden Duc of Orleans
William Challee Titus
Peter Cusanelli Balzac
Norma Drury Duchess of Orleans
Gregory Gaye Young Russian
John George Servant
Fay Helm Mme. Chopin
Charles La Torre Postman
Darren McGavin Man
Cosmo Sardo Lackeys
Henry Sharp Russian Count
Maurice R. Tauzin Chopin, age 10
Ivan Triesault M. Chopin
Michael Visaroff Russian Governor
Charles Wagenheim
Ian Wolfe Pleyel's Clerk
Dawn Bender Isabelle Chopin
Alfred Paix Headwaiter
Paul Zaremba Waiter
Zoya Karabanova Countess
Technical Credits
Charles Vidor Director
Lionel Banks Art Director
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Sidney Buchman Producer, Screenwriter
Clay Campbell Makeup
Allen M. Davey Cinematographer
Louis Edelman Producer
Tony Gaudio Cinematographer
Ernst Marischka Original Story, Screenwriter
Charles Nelson Editor
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
Van Nest Polglase Art Director
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
Morris W. Stoloff Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Frank A. Tuttle Set Decoration/Design
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2002

    A Beautiful Story

    This is a beautiful movie, even though it seldom touches on the true life of Chopin...and turned George Sand into a beautifully dressed beauty....The music was what was so outstanding, and Wilde did a pretty good job of ''playing'' the piano. The make-up, as Chopin's health worsened, was very good, too, I thought. During the last concrert tour, Chopin really look quite ill.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews