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Forbidden Music (1936)

Land Without Music (original title)
Allegedly true story from early 19th Century involving a Ruritanian singer, a Princess who dislikes his music, and a Police Chief with a sideline in smuggling musical instruments.



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Complete credited cast:
Richard Tauber ...
Diana Napier ...
Princess-Regent Maria Renata
Jonah J. Whistler
June Clyde ...
Sadie Whistler
Derrick De Marney ...
Rudolpho Strozzi
George Hayes ...
Police Colonel Strozzi
Esme Percy ...
Austrian Ambassador
John Hepworth ...
Edward Rigby ...
The Maestro
George Carney ...
Prison Warder
Ivan Wilmot ...
Chief Bandit
Robert Nainby ...
Minister for War
Joe Monkhouse ...
Finance Minister
Quentin McPhearson ...
Customs Officer


Allegedly true story from early 19th Century involving a Ruritanian singer, a Princess who dislikes his music, and a Police Chief with a sideline in smuggling musical instruments. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

26 December 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Forbidden Music  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Enjoyable light musical fare
7 July 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

What a pity that I finally discovered this charming movie now in my sixties; yet it's never too late to enjoy Richard Tauber!

I have to say first of all that it reminds me somewhat of the Beauty and the Beast theme: Tauber as the beautiful voice and Durante as the croaking sound to be endured, at least that's how I felt about it. Anyways, it was amusing when Durante emphatically declares: "In our country we treat our songbirds with respect!" Certainly Tauber was one of the greatest songbirds of his day.

The first scenes of Tauber are at the tavern where he is surrounded by a group of thieves, very sinister looking fellows, but this being a musical show, they all break out into a chorus of song to accompany Tauber. It's a delight to the ears! One of my favorites.

Each time Tauber sings I gain more appreciation for the melodies and his excellent musical talent. Especially notable is his singing of a love song to his ladylove (Diane Napier) who appears on the balcony, as the Princess in this movie, and who in real life was his true love.

"Land Without Music" for me is a pleasant interlude of Richard Tauber melodies. How fortunate that we can still appreciate his wonderful voice and presence on screen after all these years! One can stroll down memory lane back to the mid-1930s and be entertained by a charming tale of forbidden music, no instruments or singing allowed, according to the new law. This was done so that the townspeople would not dissipate their lives in entertainment and could begin to concentrate on more important, urgent matters such as making money to pay the town's debts. Fortunately this state of affairs does not last long, however, and "all's well that ends well."

A footnote of interest to the purists: I noticed in my video of "Land Without Music" how the Carlini concert in the robber's cave was rather abruptly short and we only heard the last few bars of music of Tauber's song, if anything. I always felt that there was an omission or deletion at this point. Well, it so happened that I bought a video "This Was Richard Tauber" (a fine biography) and definitely it showed Tauber singing the song "Only a Simple Little Melody" to his lady love (Diane N.) present in the cave and dressed as the princess, with the surrounding audience identical to what is in the "Land Without Music" video! A very interesting discovery.

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