17 user 3 critic

Song Without End (1960)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Music | 5 September 1960 (UK)
3:57 | Trailer
The romantic story of Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt (Sir Dirk Bogarde), whose scandalous love affair forced him to abandon his adoring audiences.


Charles Vidor, George Cukor (uncredited)


Oscar Millard
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Franz Liszt
Capucine ... Princess Carolyne Wittgenstein
Geneviève Page ... Countess Marie D'Agoult
Patricia Morison ... Georges Sand
Ivan Desny ... Prince Nicholas
Martita Hunt ... Grand Duchess
Lou Jacobi ... Potin
Albert Rueprecht ... Prince Felix Lichnowsky
Marcel Dalio ... Chelard
Lyndon Brook ... Richard Wagner
Walter Rilla ... Archbishop
Hans Unterkircher Hans Unterkircher ... Czar
Erland Erlandsen Erland Erlandsen ... Sigismond Thalberg (as E. Erlandsen)
Alexander Davion ... Frederic Chopin (as Alex Davion)
Katherine Squire Katherine Squire ... Anna Liszt


The romantic story of Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt (Sir Dirk Bogarde), whose scandalous love affair forced him to abandon his adoring audiences.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The life, love, and music of the fabulous FRANZ LISZT! See more »


Biography | Drama | Music


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


When George Cukor arrived in Vienna to take over as director, he replaced Cinematographer James Wong Howe with Charles Lang. (Howe later wrote that he agreed with this choice, as it wasn't really his type of movie.) Also, Cukor brought in Screenwriter Walter Bernstein to do re-writes on the script. Bernstein found the original script so ridiculous that he told Cukor, "My best advice to you is to get rid of Dirk Bogarde and get Sid Caesar. Then just film it." Bernstein and Cukor worked on the script as the movie was being filmed, often completing scenes on the night before they were shot. See more »


Countess Marie: I met Franz at a musical party. I remember he played a ballade in A-flat major by Chopin. I thought I'd never seen anything as beautiful as Franz looked when he sat at the piano. I... I wanted to cry. He watched me as he played; Franz never fails to notice a pretty woman in his audience. Afterward, he followed me into the hall. I remember he said, "May I escort you somewhere, madame?" And I said, "Yes." And he said, "Where?" And I said, "Paradise." He didn't smile - he said, "I'll call a ...
See more »


Referenced in Sunny Side Up (1994) See more »


Les Preludes (Excerpt)
Performed by The Los Angeles Philharmonic
Conducted by Morris Stoloff
See more »

User Reviews

The true story of Franz Liszt and his women, some of them
14 October 2015 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

This is a very beautiful film made with great meticulousness and with a serious intention to for once stick to the truth in a biopic, and the actors are all superb, especially Martita Hunt as the Grand Duchess, the most convincing one. Dirk Bogarde is excellent as Liszt but not at all as he was, more like an English gentleman than the emotionally wayward and unstable victim of his own vanity with much confusion that he was. Capucine is spellbindingly beautiful as Carolyne carrying herself with great style, and Geneviève Page makes a very convincing Marie d'Agoult. But what about the others? George Sand makes a very brief appearance, Lola Montez is not allowed at all, and there were others. Instead of telling the truth the film devotes itself to the Liszt myths and embellishes them thoroughly, so that Franz Liszt would have liked it. Of course, this at least is preferred to the terrible character assassination "Lisztomania" by Ken Russell 1975 dragging it all down to vulgarity. At least, Liszt was never vulgar. On the contrary, he was very careful about excluding himself only to the highest circles of nobility, which the film conveys adequately. Still, it's not a great film, seconded by both the great Chopin films, like Liszt never came close to the genius of Chopin. The relationship with the Princess Carolyne is greatly romanticized, and Franz Liszt confessed himself that Marie d'Agoult was his only true love. Like Liszt himself, the film is gradually bogged down into his sanctimonious catholic penchant for superstition, he neglects his own life, music and love to follow the church and thus made a fool of himself instead of fulfilling his glorious career. Well, well. The film remains a most beautiful musical illustration to his life and enjoyable as such, while it leaves you deploring his bathos. The last third of his life (he became 75) was wasted getting mummified in the church with very few more compositions.

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Release Date:

5 September 1960 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Magic Flame See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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