Paul Boray comes from a working class background. He has been interested in the violin since he was a child, which his father disliked since he felt it a waste of money, but which his mother supported. Into his adult life, Paul wants to become a concert violinist, and although he shows talent, he does not have the right connections to make it into the concert performance world, much like his longtime friend, virtuoso pianist Sid Jeffers, and cellist Gina, both who, like Paul, train with the National Institute Orchestra. Gina and Paul have a connection with each other, Gina who confesses her love for him. While performing at a party with Sid, Paul meets Helen and Victor Wright, their hosts. Victor is a perceptive but self-admittedly weak man, while his wife Helen is strong minded but insecure which manifests itself as neurosis. She constantly tries to forget about her unhappy life by excessive alcohol consumption. Helen becomes Paul's benefactress, which ultimately results in a ...Written by
In the cocktail party scene, a drunken society girl repeatedly tells John Garfield, "You look just like a prize fighter." Garfield would play a prize fighter in his next film, Body and Soul (1947). See more »
At about 1:20, during Garfield's supposed playing of Symphony Espagnole, the head of the violinist whose hand we see doing the bowing, standing on Garfield's right, is partially visible on the extreme left side of the screen. This may be the same (uncredited) player we also see doubling for Garfield in some of the extreme long-shots. See more »
Joan Crawford was midway through filming 'Humoresque' when she won her Oscar for 'Mildred Pierce'. Along with 'Possessed', I think these three are her finest performances--and the films themselves aren't bad either!
Here she is a sophisticated patron of the arts who falls hard for John Garfield, as a high-strung violinist. Her neurotic, possessive nature is hellbent on self-destruction--leading to the inevitable ending which, though a bit overly dramatic, is a stunning conclusion to an interesting romantic drama. Garfield and Crawford make a good team--though personally I liked his teaming with Lana Turner better in 'The Postman Always Rings Twice'.
Oscar Levant supplies some cynical comedy relief with dry humor. Franz Waxman's score permits use of other classical composers--Bizet, Rossini and Wagner--giving distinction to a well crafted, if overlong melodrama that showcases the star's glamourous image. Crawford never looked better with Bette Davis' favorite photographer, Ernie Haller, at the camera. Makes you wonder why they couldn't find stories like this for Crawford while she was at MGM.
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