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A rich, young beauty, Louise Durant, follows the man she loves and hopes to marry to Zurich where he studies violin at the conservatory. A piano student at the conservatory falls madly in love with Louise. The violinist loves his music first and Louise second. The pianist loves Louise first and his music second. Louise must ultimately choose which man she wants. Written by
Liz won't play second fiddle to anyone...especially a violinist!
RHAPSODY is a typically lush romantic opus from MGM, conceived as a stunning tribute to the 22 year-old ELIZABETH TAYLOR and surrounding her with some melodious classic music from the two men in her life--JOHN ERICSON and VITTORIO GASSMAN.
All women should have such romantic woes--torn as she is, between two handsome men with matinée idol looks while she watches on the sidelines dressed in smart outfits by Helen Rose, with sophisticated looks at the camera and everyone else in the cast. She is as poised as a marble statue and just as cold and beautiful.
The tale is as wildly improbable as anything Joan Crawford ever did in lush B&W surroundings at Warner Bros. (a la HUMORESQUE), and the story itself is hardly more than routine, presenting Taylor as a spoiled young woman who mistreats men who are too immersed in their careers to notice she's around.
But on the plus side, there's that glorious music and some very convincing finger work by Ericson on the piano and Gassman on the violin. They really look as if they're playing their instruments, and both of them are up to the acting demands of their less than dynamic roles.
Taylor was certainly one of the most photogenic women who ever stepped before a camera, but it's a pity that her talent (at this stage) is not a match for her fabulous wardrobe and glossy, tremulous close-ups that have her torn between two men without ever ruining her make-up with real tears.
Absurd fun, if only for the music and the decent performances, but actually a very routine romantic angle that is a mere trifle against a splendid background of passionate classical pieces.
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