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Broken hearts in Ireland. Sean is a great tenor, in semi-retirement, living in a village close to Mary, the woman he's always loved. Mary's aunt convinced her to marry a man for his money; he's has recently deserted her, leaving her penniless. She and her two children, Eileen and Tad, move in with the selfish and austere aunt and are miserable. Eileen is falling in love with Fergus, a young man who's off to Dublin to seek his fortune. Sean is drawn out of retirement and goes on tour in America. At his first concert, he's nervous and out of sorts until the last song, when peace descends on him like a gift. What has happened, and can family life be set right? Written by
In John McCormack's feature film debut a rather sentimental story was chosen for him and quite frankly his character is something of a romantic fool. A promising concert singer, McCormack gives it up to be near his lost love Alice Joyce. Years ago her maiden witch of an aunt broke up Joyce and McCormack and forced to marry a rich man. Now that rich man has deserted her and their children Maureen O'Sullivan and Tommy Clifford. And now the aunt played by Emily Fitzroy is interfering with O'Sullivan's romance with young, poor, but earnest John Garrick.
McCormack has the most undemanding role of a concert singer and while he's no great actor the public was paying to see the singer to which he obliged them with fourteen numbers. Together with Enrico Caruso, John McCormack made the phonograph record industry a success. You could not find an Irish-American family which did not have a phonograph and a few McCormack records to play.
Also in Song o' My Heart McCormack was not cast as a youthful person, that would have been ludicrous. He plays a bit younger than his actual age which was in his Fifties, but he's believable.
The story itself was wistful, romantic, tragic and above all Irish. A couple of Hollywood's best character players from the Auld Sod, J.M. Kerrigan and J. Farrell MacDonald are a couple of village rustics who are entertaining in their blarney.
John McCormack still has many fans and this film is for them.
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