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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 »
Slight story in no way spoils beauty and brilliance
"Carnegie Hall" really deserves a 20 out of 10 stars simply because it is such a brilliant record of some of the greatest musical performers from about 1890 to about 1950.
Most people reading this comment will not have had any other opportunity to see or hear in live performance such giants as Jan Peerce or Jascha Heifetz or, especially, the likes of Walter ("Good morning, my dear children") Damrosch.
It would be easy to fill several paragraphs just listing and raving about those giants, those icons of great music, including Harry James and Vaughn Monroe, but I urge you to look at each name, follow the IMDb link and then Google each to learn about them.
I must, though, mention the marvelous Marsha Hunt. For some function I don't remember, I was in her home when she was the Honorary Mayor of Sherman Oaks, around 1980, and have been an idolatrous fan ever since.
She is recognized as a fine actress, but she deserved even more. She was also a beautiful woman, and probably never looked lovelier than in "Carnegie Hall." As her character ages, she goes gray, and her step slows and she dodders just a bit, just enough.
It is, in short, a spell-binding characterization, a magnificent performance.
I try not to be envious of people with more ability (which is most people) or more luck (which is nearly everyone) but I do envy Marsha Hunt for her opportunity, in this role, to interact with such musical heroes as Ezio Pinza and Artur Rodzinski.
By the way, look for a very young Leonard Rose, who went on to well-deserved fame as one of the world's greatest cellists.
One final note: The story was by the magnificent Seena Owen, probably best known for her role in "Intolerance." Maybe I shouldn't admit it, but I will: I applauded and cheered and, yes, cried at the beauty of this film, at the glory of it.
I urge, strenuously urge you not to miss this "Carnegie Hall."
Added 19 June 2015: "Carnegie Hall" is available at YouTube.com: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruvljAjzscg
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