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William A. Seiter
Prof. Joseph Elsner guides his protégé Frydryk Chopin through his formative years to early adulthood in Poland. At a recital in a duke's home Chopin insults the new Russian-installed governor, and must flee the country. The professor takes him to Paris, where he eventually comes under the wing and influence of novelist George Sand and rises to prominence in the music world, to the exclusion of his old friends and patriotic feelings towards Poland. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
To play Chopin's piano solos,Columbia Pictures first attempted to engage Artur Rubinstein, then Vladimir Horowitz. Rubinstein was offended when he was greeted by Columbia president Harry Cohn with a boisterous "Hiya, Ruby!" Horowitz got along better with Cohn, but did not wish to perform the severely cut versions of the Chopin pieces the film required. See more »
A modern wrist-watch can be seen on Chopin's left wrist in the brief close-up of 'his' hands playing the piano at 1 h 42 m. See more »
The final 17 min. of this film show Wilde at his best and why he was nominated for an Academy Award for best actor.
In the final 17 min. of this film, Wilde as the dying Chopin, is shown on his final tour. He plays 7 different pieces of music on 9 different pianos in 9 different locations-Paris, Vienna, Budepest, Rome, Berlin, Amsterdam, Stolkholm, London and Paris. He wears 6 different outfits.
In this time you see wilde/Chopin go from an angry man pressured to perform, to a man who lives ONLY to perform.
While Wilde looks nothing like Chopin, who had reddish hair, hazel eyes,and a long, beakish nose, he DOES manage to portray the diffidence and remoteness of this brilliant pianist and composer who dies of TB at the age of 39.
The film is not historically accurate and is often quite funny, intentionally or not, but it is emotionally effective.
The lighting and costumes are particularly excellent.
Wilde's fingering is not always perfect, but often, he is right on the beat and correct in the fingering. His attitude at the piano is also correct, although he doesn not do the peddlework that a REAL pianist would do.
Don't learn your history from films, ever, but this one is still more accurate than most films of this type. I give it a sentimental 10!
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