This film received its initial telecasts in Washington DC Wednesday 22 October 1947 (as 'The Melody Master') on WTTG (Channel 5), in Los Angeles Sunday 23 November 1947 on the DuMont Television Network's KTLA (Channel 5), in Washington DC Sunday 29 February 1948 on WNBW (Channel 4) and in Chicago Thursday 24 March 1948 on WBKB (Channel 4) and again Saturday 21 August 1948 on WGN (Channel 9) (as 'One Romantic Night'), in Lowell MA (serving the Boston Area) Saturday 9 October 1948 on WBZ (Channel 4), and in Atlanta Tuesday 16 November 1948 on WSB (Channel 8), but its earliest documented telecasts in Detroit did not occur until Thursday 22 September 1949 on WJBK (Channel 2), and in New York City until Sunday 8 November 1949 on the DuMont Television Network's WABD (Channel 5). See more »
The only positive thing to come out of New Wine was the short lived marriage of its stars Alan Curtis and Ilona Massey. As a tribute to classical composer Franz Schubert it falls very short and done on the cheap.
That's a pity because back in 1921 Sigmund Romberg arranged and Dorothy Donnelly wrote lyrics for a hit musical Blossom Time about the short life and music of Franz Schubert and it ran for 551 performances on Broadway. You may well ask why one of the major studios didn't get the rights and adapt that show to the screen. I think that in 1941 German subjects and composers were not exactly in vogue in the world at war or with those places about to enter said conflict.
Curtis plays the tormented composer who lived only 31 years and in his life was barely acclaimed. It was only in time that Schubert's reputation grew. Ilona Massey plays the Hungarian woman who loved him and left because she wanted him to compose without the burden of supporting her and a possible family. Given the billing which had Massey first at times the film seems more about her. Billy Gilbert has a serious role as a friend of Schubert's who let's him stay rent free for the most part over his stable in Vienna. Binnie Barnes is quite outrageous as the Countess who Massey works for and tries to arrange for her to be his patron.
New Wine came from an outfit called Gloria Pictures and was distributed by United Artists. For Schubert's sake his story was brought to the screen at a bad time with a shoestring budget. I wish Blossom Time had been done instead by one of the majors.
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