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Harmony Lane (1935)

The life and loves of composer Stephen Foster, from his early success through his decline, degradation, and death from alcoholism.

Director:

Joseph Santley

Writers:

Elizabeth Meehan (screenplay), Joseph Santley (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Douglass Montgomery ... Stephen Foster
Evelyn Venable ... Susan Pentland
Adrienne Ames ... Jane McDowell
Joseph Cawthorn ... Professor Henry Kleber
William Frawley ... Edwin P. 'Ed' Christy
David Torrence ... Mr. Pentland
Gilbert Emery ... Mr. Foster
Lloyd Hughes ... Andrew Robinson
Al Herman Al Herman ... Tambo
Cora Sue Collins ... Marian Foster
James Bush ... Morrison Foster
Edith Craig Edith Craig ... Henrietta Foster
Florence Roberts ... Mrs. Foster
Ferdinand Munier Ferdinand Munier ... Mr. Pond
Clarence Muse ... Old Joe
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Storyline

The life and loves of composer Stephen Foster, from his early success through his decline, degradation, and death from alcoholism.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Heart Song of a Great American See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 October 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Life and Loves of Stephen Foster See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mascot Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (RCA High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its earliest documented telecast in the New York City area Sunday 1 June 1947 on WCBS (Channel 2). In Baltimore, it first aired Sunday 11 April 1948 on WMAR (Channel 2), in Chicago Saturday 31 July 1948 on WGN (Channel 9), in Philadelphia Sunday 15 August 1948 on WPTZ (Channel 3), and in Cincinnati Saturday 11 September 1948 on WLW-T (Channel 4). See more »

Connections

Version of Swanee River (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

My Old Kentucky Home
Written by Stephen Foster
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly Good Gower Gulch Musical Biopic
26 December 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Stephen Foster songs are no longer part of the Great American Songbook, but for more than a century they were. Movies like this were inevitable. What was less inevitable that it would come from a Poverty Row Producer like Mascot and be so good.

Certainly director Joseph Santley does a good job. He is one of the many directors who came into the movies, turned out good work, and rarely rose out of the Bs. Here he offers good performances and set-piece camera set-ups that are quite lovely. While none of the actors are great. they are certainly up to the rigors of their roles, and it is a bizarre pleasure to see William Frawley playing Edwin Christy.... and playing him as William Frawley.

In this modern age we sneer at artists like Foster because they accepted the standards of their era, instead of the superior standards of our era. Even with that proviso, and understanding that Foster's commercially successful music didn't make him a wealthy man, because he would typically sell a song for $30, and glad to get it, because copyright enforcement was virtually non-existent.

So why was his music so popular that when I was taught the piano as a child, several of his songs were still standards? Their simplicity was one reason. The tune could be picked out with a single finger. However, their original popularity was due to the same sort of thing that made Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL and Sha-Na-Na's doo-wop so popular: nostalgia. In the tumult of the 1850s, with the industrialization of the North, many of the new urban population yearned for a simpler, rustic existence, and Foster's songs gave it to them, three minutes at a time.


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