Song without End

Song without End

2.0 2
Director: George Cukor, Charles Vidor

Cast: Dirk Bogarde, Capucine

     
 

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Hoping to recapture the success of its 1945 Frederic Chopin biopic A Song to Remember, Columbia Pictures concocted the 1960 Technicolor costume drama Song Without End. Dirk Bogarde is cast as musical genius Franz Liszt. Bogarde's piano scenes are dubbed with another's singing voice, but this hardly matters in that the film is preoccupied with Liszt's

Overview

Hoping to recapture the success of its 1945 Frederic Chopin biopic A Song to Remember, Columbia Pictures concocted the 1960 Technicolor costume drama Song Without End. Dirk Bogarde is cast as musical genius Franz Liszt. Bogarde's piano scenes are dubbed with another's singing voice, but this hardly matters in that the film is preoccupied with Liszt's infamous romantic entanglements. The crux of the matter is Liszt's desire to wed the already married Russian princess Carolyne (Capucine), which will necessitate an unpleasant breakup with his current lover, Countess Marie (Genevieve Page). Director Charles Vidor died after only a few weeks on the picture; he was replaced by George Cukor, who graciously insisted that Vidor be billed in letters larger than his. The chief selling point of Song Without End is its wall-to-wall music; the film won an Oscar for "best musical arrangement."

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
By 1960, the kind of old fashioned classical composer bio that is Song Without End was a strange anomaly. Like countless Hollywood biopics before it, Song plays fast and loose with the truth in its retelling of the life and loves of the brilliant Franz Liszt. As is usually the case with these rewrites, the "new" story isn't so very new and isn't really an improvement on what actually happened, but Song does manage to be one of the better examples of this genre (and a far sight better than the still-to-come Ken Russell take on Liszt, the bizarre Lisztomania.) Song benefits from a lovely and intelligent performance from Dirk Bogarde as Liszt, who even manages to fake the piano playing convincingly. He's not given a lot of character depth to explore, but Bogarde makes the surface characteristics quite interesting enough by themselves to carry things along nicely. Capucine looks elegant and composed; she doesn't contribute a great deal of acting to the role, but her physical presence helps a great deal. The film is more than a bit choppy, most likely due to the fact that it was directed by two different people after the original director died; this lack of a cohesive feel is damaging, but not fatal. And the film benefits from the thrilling performances of Liszt's music, of which there is plenty.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/10/2007
UPC:
4897007031382
Original Release:
1960
Source:
Castaway Pictures
Region Code:
0
Sales rank:
19,920

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dirk Bogarde Franz Liszt
Capucine Princess Carolyne
Genevieve Page Countess Marie
Patricia Morison George Sand
Ivan Desny Prince Nicholas
Martita Hunt Grand Duchess
Lou Jacobi Potin
Albert Rueprecht Prince Felix Lichnowsky
Marcel Dalio Chelard
Lyndon Brook Richard Wagner
Walter Rilia Archbishop
Hans Unterkirchen Czar
Edmund Erlandsen Thalberg
Katherine Squire Anna Liszt
Alexander Davion Chopin

Technical Credits
George Cukor Director
Charles Vidor Director
William Goetz Producer
Walter Holscher Art Director
James Wong Howe Cinematographer
Jean Louis Costumes/Costume Designer
William Lyon Editor
Oscar Millard Screenwriter
Morris W. Stoloff Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Harry Sukman Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Song Without End: The Story of Franz Liszt
1. Franz Liszt the Gifted Pianist [17:00]
2. Princess Carolyne Wittingstein [22:18]
3. A Triumphant Return [22:26]
4. Retire From the Spotlight [22:17]
5. Carolyne Seeks Divorce [21:55]
6. Annulment Is Rejected [18:50]

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Song without End 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The DVD mastering is completely unacceptable -- jittery images, faded colors. This is a cheap Chinese print, not suitable for viewing, much less purchase.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Doubtless, the reader will have already read the All Movie Guide Review. While this gives a good indication of the thrust of the movie, this review underplays the excellent music work that was mostly the work of Jorge Bolet, the Cuban born, American trained pianist. Bolet's treatment of the music, and his affinity for Liszt made him the perfect choice for this film. He was at the height of his powers in 1960, although far from the height of his fame which would not come until the mid '70s. His playing is riveting, and allows the viewer a chance to experience the excitement that surrounded an appearance by Franz Liszt. This movie is worth it if only for the musical score.