On September 6, 1946 (one day before the stage musical ended its Broadway run), Universal announced its purchase of the screen rights for $200,000 plus 25 percent of the film's profits. The studio planned for the movie adaptation to be produced in Technicolor by Sam Spiegel (then known as S.P. Eagle) and to star Deanna Durbin, with shooting to start in January 1948. However, because of a projected high budget and a related tax problem which was holding back Hollywood film exports to Britain, Mr. Eagle revealed on August 21, 1947 that the picture was being postponed indefinitely. See more »
Critically-lambasted musical adaptation of the successful play regarding the early years of Norwegian pianist/composer Edvard Greig (played by Toralv Maurstad, a Bruce Davison lookalike with oddly shaped eyes). Grieg--initially a rowdy scamp in the 1860s who pined after a lovely girl from a prominent family while trying to get his sonnets published--found himself frustratingly without a benefactor or any professional engagements in which to showcase his work, later marrying his cousin and barely scraping by giving piano lessons. For the most part, writer-director Andrew L. Stone has crafted a not uninteresting, frequently engaging romp with several intentionally funny asides and endearingly klutzy musical numbers. The on-location shooting in Norway and Denmark is lovely, even if the cinematography in general is poor and the editing mediocre. Frank Porretta is a robust presence as fellow composer Richard Nordraak (who sings to the heavens and, at one point, directly to Edvard while seated in a restaurant!). Yet, just about the time Grieg is gaining some prominence for his hard work, the narrative (loose to begin with) gets all balled up, with too many tragedies coming to a head at once. This patchy third-act, punctuated by a myriad of nature shots and sunsets, doesn't allow the viewer any emotional satisfaction, and the finale is flat. More genuine style and gloss was required, and classical purists will probably scoff, however the picture has a lively beginning. Results are far from terrible. ** from ****
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