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; ...
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Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
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
Fox paid McCormack the unprecedented sum of $500,000 and sent a crew and director Borzage to Ireland to film the tenor. See more »
Mind you, I admit he's a good singer, but there's somethin' lacking... He hasn't got that certain 'ny-aah' in his voice.
[sings a folk tune]
Now there's a 'ny-aah' for you in all its glory... and til he has that, he'll never be a great singer.
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I would just mention that there are actually *two* versions of this film: the sound ("talkie")version and a part sound / part silent (with titles) version (this was at the dawn of the "talkie" era when people such as Laurel & Hardy had sound and silent versions of their films).
The difference here is not only dialogue vs. title cards, but the two versions are edited a bit differently (true of the Laurel & Hardy hybrids, too).
In the part sound / part silent version, there is no dialogue but you do get all the John McCormack singing.
This movie is a real creaker and it badly needs restoring, but I give it 8 points for: 1) Irish location filming. 2) It's Maureen O'Sullivan's film debut. 3) The John McCormack concert sequence. 4) In the talkie version there's a Irish "vaudeville" bit at the beginning.
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