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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I saw this film when I was 7 and immediately went home determined to learn to play all of Chopin's music!
I think I must have seen A Song To Remember at least 6 times when it first came out,(I was 7), and now I own the VHS and love it still!!
Of course the FACTS are incorrect or at least, not arranged in the correct order of events. Of course Cornel Wilde looks nothing like the REAL Chopin, but Jose Iturbi plays Chopin beautifully and Wilde does a fair to Excellent job of fingering. I do wish they had had him PEDAL! Chopin was an innovator-he created a new way of fingering and a new way of pedalling!
The REAL Chopin had reddish hair and hazel eyes and Wilde (who was Hungarian NOT Polish) had jet black hair and eyes. Who cares. He was gorgeous!!!
One thing Wilde DID do for the Chopin myth was to abolish forever the idea that Chopin was a limp-wristed fop.
I remember my mother and every other woman in the audience, sobbing out loud at the end of this film. I was crying too because the film was over and I would have to wait to see it again.
Merle Oberon was marvelous in her role as George Sand and Paul Muney, (born in Poland) was funny, effective and sometimes over-the-top as Chopin's teacher, Professor Elsner (who was German).
One scene of particularly fine acting all around is the confrontation scene between Prof. Elsner, Sand and Chopin. Brilliantly played by all three.
The final 17 min. montage depicting Chopin's concert tour is Superb! 8 locations, 8 piano's 6 different pieces of music and 6 different outfits. Wilde as Chopin has no dialogue here, but telegraphs every mood and all his pain directly to the audience as he grows more and more ill and more and more dedicated to finish the tour!
I recommend this film to all who love music, old-fashioned movie making and Cornel Wilde, who is yummy and remarkable here. He deserved his Academy Award nomination.
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