More fictional than factual biography of Stephen Foster. Songwriter from Pittsburgh falls in love with the South, marries a Southern gal (Leeds), then is accused of sympathizing when the ...
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Starving playwright Judith Wells meets playboy writer of musicals, George Macrae, over a plate of stolen spaghetti. He persuades producer Sam Gordon to buy her ridiculous play "North Winds"... See full summary »
Starting in 1913 movie director Connors discovers singer Molly Adair. As she becomes a star she marries an actor, so Connors fires them. She asks for him as director of her next film. Many silent stars shown making the transition to sound.
In a typical American Midwestern city, Hartfield, Iowa, Lew Marsh (Don Ameche) is the owner of a drugstore. Everyone knows Lew and knew his grandfather, old "Gramp" Marsh (Harry Carey), who... See full summary »
Following three flops in a row, Broadway stage producer Willard Samson is told by wealthy divorcée Donna Davis that she will finance a show but only if she is the star. The fact she can ... See full summary »
More fictional than factual biography of Stephen Foster. Songwriter from Pittsburgh falls in love with the South, marries a Southern gal (Leeds), then is accused of sympathizing when the Civil War breaks out. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film's final scene is wholly inaccurate; there was no performance by E.P. Christy on the day that Foster died. In reality, Christy actually died nearly two years before Foster; he committed suicide by throwing himself from a window at his home in New York City in May 1862; Foster himself died in January 1864. See more »
In this film's comment section, the one given by "theowinthrop" is particularly on the mark, and I would agree with all of its points. Being from Cincinnati, and attending four years in high school in Louisville, one of my roommates was from Bardstown, Kentucky, the locale of "My Old Kentucky Home," the state park of the same name, and "The Stephen Foster Story," one of the nation's largest outdoor (indoors if rain) dramas. This area is among America's most beautiful, and seeing it just magnifies the already giant irony of the fact that this locale, and others depicted by Foster's work, were from the pen of a man from Pittsburgh, who spent most of his time there, in Cincinnati and New York City - dying in abject poverty in the latter.
Hollywood biopics about composers and musical personalities (e.g. Rodgers & Hart, Kern, Romberg, Duchin, Sousa, and a score of others) are among the most fictionalized genre in any medium. However, this one dwarfs them all. I read a brief review (I believe from Leonard Maltin) remarking that in this flick, every line of dialog seemed to spark a lyric and/or title for a new song.
Jolson's inclusion is interesting to view, especially recalling that this was a time when his tremendous career had reached a point somewhat below its former level. The following years into the 1940's would see its subsequent rejuvenation, the filming of his two highly-popular biographical pictures (they may well run this one a close second for fictional aspects), and his rise to be voted top vocalist again (besting Crosby and Sinatra), only to have ill health overtake him.
Seeing Ameche, who was to enjoy greater longevity than Jolson and many other contemporaries, along with Jolson, is a unique asset of this film. Enjoy this, along with the nostalgic period conveyed (and the sad history of callousness and lack of respect for those of color - both during the time of the story and filming), and the outstanding melodies which Mr. Foster created.
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