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Franz Roberti is a famous orchestra conductor who has a number of girlfriends. While talking with his old music teacher, Professor Thalma, he meets Constance, an aspiring music composer. They see each other, fall in love and marry. They honeymoon all over Europe and are happy back home until Constance finds him with a society divorcee and leaves him.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We only see the hints of a great fatal passion of music and love, as the film is cut short.
What's wrong with this film, since so many seem to only come with objections? Yes, there is one big thing wrong with it. It's a novel cut short into a short story. It's a great story, but large parts of it are missing. This could have been made into a great film, but instead it became a great small film. It's not even 80 minutes, but you still catch glimpses of enormous passions and a monumental tragedy, a great musician giving up music, which just can't be done, as the old maestro says: a musician is never through with music. Charles Boyer thinks he is, and his impersonation of a fallen conductor to the dregs of the left-overs from a shabby bar after closing time is more than convincing - he has really lost himself, since he gave all his love to Katharine Hepburn, at her youngest och freshest and most charming splendour of youth, but she had her special woman's pride (like no other woman) and saw him through with his hollowness of a womanizing diva, but as the real woman she was she had the power to give it back again.
The scene when he is conducting Bach and hardly can stand on his feet, reeling and conducting like Oliver Hardy is monumental in itself, and the whole (short) film is worth seeing only for this. Charles Boyer is always an unforgettable experience on the screen and maybe particularly so when he plays diva musicians. It's always a remake of Liliom in greater glory than ever.
And how delightful to see Katharine Hepburn really young and sparkling, and her fantastic sense of dressing in style is already here amazing, as it was in every film she made. She always had a style of her own outshining everyone else, whoever she played against. Here Charles Boyer was a serious challenging match for her, and an interesting couple they make, which just has to go wrong, since they both are too brilliant for their own good, especially together... It's like two stars colliding. There has to be an explosion with fatal consequences, ruin and tears and bitter aftermaths of wounds that never could heal, - but Katharine Hepburn could never fall without rising again, and here she can even raise the shambles of Charles Boyer back to life. It's not just Hollywood. It's how music works.
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