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A Song to Remember (1945)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Music | 18 January 1945 (USA)
Biography of Frederic Chopin.

Director:

Charles Vidor

Writers:

Sidney Buchman, Ernst Marischka (story)
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Paul Muni ... Prof. Joseph Elsner
Merle Oberon ... George Sand
Cornel Wilde ... Frédéric Chopin
Nina Foch ... Constantia
George Coulouris ... Louis Pleyel
Howard Freeman ... Kalkbrenner
Stephen Bekassy Stephen Bekassy ... Franz Liszt
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Storyline

Prof. Joseph Elsner guides his protégé Frydryk Chopin through his formative years to early adulthood in Poland. At a recital in a duke's home Chopin insults the new Russian-installed governor, and must flee the country. The professor takes him to Paris, where he eventually comes under the wing and influence of novelist George Sand and rises to prominence in the music world, to the exclusion of his old friends and patriotic feelings towards Poland. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Unforgettable Love Story of Chopin and George Sand Set Against the Background of Chopin's Glorious Music!

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 January 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chopin See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Was originally set to be directed by Frank Capra following Lost Horizon (1937) and to star Francis Lederer as Chopin, Paul Muni as Elsner and Marlene Dietrich as George Sand after an attempt to borrow Spencer Tracy and Greta Garbo from MGM failed. Production delays on 'Lost Horizon' forced Capra to abandon the project until Columbia Pictures revived the project in 1944 with Charles Vidor directing and Paul Muni appearing as Elsner. Capra sued for breach of contract in 1946 but the lawsuit was eventually was settled out of court. See more »

Goofs

A modern wrist-watch can be seen on Chopin's left wrist in the brief close-up of 'his' hands playing the piano at 1 h 42 m. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Joseph Elsner: What's going on here? Is the reception over?
Alfred DeMusset: For some people, yes. For others, just beginning.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Varieté (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

The piano music of Frédéric Chopin is played by José Iturbi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Composer Bios and Biopics
13 February 2001 | by harry-76See all my reviews

"A Song to Remember" is one of many bios and biopics based on the lives and careers of great composers. It is a superficial and inaccurate account of Frederic Chopin, executed with rich production values, colorful performances, and fine piano renderings on the soundtrack.

What makes filmmakers constantly churn out these gross fabrications on composers? Probably because with all the emotional and dramatic power of their music, these creative artists surely must have lived very exciting lives.

In truth, the dramatic power and emotional expressiveness undoubtedly took place in their studios, where all the action and revelation raged within their heads, through their fingers, and onto score paper.

Theirs was a world of technical concentration, dedication and execution. It was about problems of form, balance, themes, voicings, instrumentation and the like -- in other words, matters concerning the elements of music.

Not much there in the way of dramatic subject material. Yet screenplay writers, producers and directors go on concocting characters that never existed, situations that never took place, and scenes that impose 'modern' views upon 'classic' events.

Thus we have Lizst ("Song Without End") Mozart ("Amadeus") Beethoven ("Immortal Beloved") Schumann and Brahms ("Song of Love") Kern ("Til the Clouds Roll By") Rodgers and Hart ("Words and Music") and countless others being given The Treatment. Is it truly a song without end?

In "A Song to Remember" we are required to suspend our historical knowledge and go with the flow of romantic melodrama, as the life and career of the Chopin is brazenly exploited for dramatic purposes. Thus we can thrill to the the pianism of Jose Iturbi, revel in the beauty and grace of Merle Oberon, enjoy the young and debonair Cornell Wilde, and devour the rococo posturings of Paul Muni. Were only life really as dramatically pat as this.

Legally filmmakers have no worries over such exploitation. The subjects and families are all conveniently deceased, and it's fair game without risk of lawsuits or infringment cases. Further, the music is, for the most part, in public domain, cancelling out copyright costs.

Therefore we simply place a mental inscription over the portal to these fanciful journeys: "Abandon Your Senses, All Ye Who Enter Here."


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