The life and loves of composer Stephen Foster, from his early success through his decline, degradation, and death from alcoholism.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Susan Pentland
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Professor Henry Kleber
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Edwin P. 'Ed' Christy
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Mr. Pentland
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Mr. Foster
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Andrew Robinson
Al Herman ...
Tambo
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Marian Foster
James Bush ...
Morrison Foster
Edith Craig ...
Henrietta Foster
Florence Roberts ...
Mrs. Foster
Ferdinand Munier ...
Mr. Pond
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Old Joe
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Storyline

The life and loves of composer Stephen Foster, from his early success through his decline, degradation, and death from alcoholism.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

composer | alcoholism | usa | song | slave | See All (35) »

Taglines:

BASED ON THE LIFE OF America's Great Composer STEPHEN COLLINS FOSTER See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

23 October 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Life and Loves of Stephen Foster  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (RCA High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its earliest documented telecast in the New York City area Sunday 1 June 1947 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »

Connections

Featured in Bamboozled (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Old Folks at Home
Written by Stephen Foster
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User Reviews

Montgomery memorable in dreadful Stephen Foster bio

Well, what can you expect from a Mascot film? Production values are way beneath even Republic, hovering somewhere around Monogram's incompetence. This is a shame since like a real trooper, Douglass Montgomery gives one of his most sensitive and sincere performances as the doomed songmaster. Reminds you of Liz Taylor in BUTTERFIELD 8, realizing you have inferior material, but behaving as if it was an A-1 production.

Cinematography, editing and direction are beneath contempt. There is scant underscoring, not even making an appearance until twelve minutes into the film. Camera lens smudges are left in. Even Montgomery's name is misspelled on the "The Players" card - "Douglas" rather than "Douglass."

Foster loves Susan, but evil Jane spreads lies and intrigue, so that Susan will marry another and she can step in to marry Foster. She then proceeds to nag and nag and finally leave him as he turns to drink after his popularity has calmed down. A last attempt to rescue him with a benefit hurts his pride so that he commits suicide. Adrienne Ames as the bitch Jane reminds one of Gene Tierney- strikingly beautiful. William Frawley is quite bad as E.P. Christy of the Christy Minstrels (Al Jolson was great in this role in the other Foster bio, SWANEE RIVER). The film begins in 1848 and ends with Foster's death.

The only good thing in this turkey is Montgomery and he is quite fine- his sincerity and his improvisational naturalistic style is quite charming. The camera does rise to the occasion with his close-ups, which are beautifully lit- he is here at his handsomest.

He is the only reason for sitting through this one.


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