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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
I disagree with those here who said the story that frames this showcase for classical musicians is mediocre or worse. Though it's a variation on "the Jazz Singer", I thought the script especially well written, and believably and very likably acted by Marsha Hunt. The scene where her character's adult son finally asserts his independence was so passionately acted by William Prince that I was startled. I didn't suspect that the son was, in real life, older than his "mother"; Marsha Hunt did a fine job playing an older woman.
For me, many of the classical music performances were boring, despite the talented and famous cast of musicians. Mostly this was because the un-enhanced 1947 audio did such a poor job of reproducing the music (TCM 2013 showing). I did enjoy seeing Stowkowski conduct in his graceful flamboyant manner (and I suspect that some of the footage may have been rotoscoped for one of the classic Bugs Bunny cartoons, where "Leopold" is the revered symphony conductor). As a musical theater buff, it was interesting seeing Enzio Pinza, near the time when he starred in "South Pacific". He was more charismatic and energetic than in some early 1950's TV footage that was my only visual impression of him.
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