A Song to Remember

A Song to Remember

Paul Muni
Director: Charles Vidor Cast: Paul Muni
Paul Muni
, Merle Oberon
Merle Oberon
, Cornel Wilde
Cornel Wilde
Charles Vidor

DVD (Black & White)

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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/02/2015
UPC: 0683904541550
Original Release: 1945
Source: Sony Pictures Home
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time: 1:53:00
Sales rank: 15,009

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 Actor
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

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Song to Remember
1. Chapter 1 [9:30]
2. Chapter 2 [14:23]
3. Chapter 3 [12:53]
4. Chapter 4 [8:08]
5. Chapter 5 [9:54]
6. Chapter 6 [7:42]
7. Chapter 7 [7:26]
8. Chapter 8 [11:22]
9. Chapter 9 [13:42]
10. Chapter 10 [10:07]
11. Chapter 11 [6:58]

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