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A mother (Marsha Hunt) wants her son (William Prince) to grow up to be a pianist good enough to play at Carnegie Hall but, when grown, the son prefers to play with Vaughan Monroe's orchestra. But Mama's wishes prevail and the son appears at Carnegie Hall as the composer-conductor-pianist of a modern horn concerto, with Harry James as the soloist. Frank McHugh is along as a Carnegie Hall porter and doorman, and Martha O'Driscoll is a singer who provides the love interest for Prince. Meanwhile and between while a brigade of classical music names from the 1940's (and earlier and later)appear; the conductors Walter Damrosch, Bruno Walter, Artur Rodzinski, Fritz Reiner and Leopold Stokowski; singers Rise Stevens, Lily Pons, Jan Peerce and Ezio Pinza, plus pianist Arthur Rubinstein, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky and violinist Jascha Heifetz. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Johns arrives on stage for rehearsal and is introduced to Ruth who is standing opposite of him with the piano in between. Close up of Ruth's face shows her looking to her left as she speaks to John who is center to her. See more »
"Carnegie Hall" was made in 1947 and actually filmed in the newly refurbished Carnegie Hall. It's the story of a cleaner at the Hall named Nora (Marsha Hunt) who marries a pianist. He dies some time after they're married, and she's left to raise their son. She exposes him, by taking him to Carnegie Hall, to all of the great music and musicians, and he studies piano. The plan is for him to grow up to be a concert pianist. But he has other plans, and some of them include the pretty Ruth (Martha O'Driscoll), who sings with Vaughn Monroe. William Prince plays the adult son, and Frank McHugh plays an employee of the Hall who is a friend of Nora's.
This is one long movie with tons of beautiful music done by some of the great artists of the time: Leopold Stokowski conducting Tchaikovsky's "Symphony in E Minor," Artur Rubenstein (whom I saw play in concert while I was in high school) doing Chopin's "Polonaise" and "The Ritual Fire Dance" at the piano keyboard, Jascha Heifetz and his nimble fingers on the violin for Tchaikovsky's "Concerto for Violin" - to name only a few. Singers include Ezio Pinza singing parts of Don Giovanni, Rise Stevens singing "Pres des Ramparts de Sevilla" from Carmen, and Lily Pons, in an exquisite gown, doing the Bell Song from Lakme, her signature piece. Jan Peerce sings "O Solo Mio." It's all wonderful, and a real feast for classic music lovers, but it isn't very cinematic, and the script is non-existent. It is great to have the musical performances preserved, however.
Marsha Hunt is still with us as of this writing, and she was a lovely actress, physically a cross between Jennifer Jones and Barbara Rush. She gets the usual Hollywood aging of gray hair, white powder and half a line on her face.
I suggest putting this on your DVR and fast-forwarding to the performances.
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