A Song to Remember

1945

Action / Biography / Drama / Music

2
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 55%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1234

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 16, 2021 at 07:00 PM

Director

Cast

Cornel Wilde as Frédéric Chopin
George Macready as Alfred DeMusset
Nina Foch as Constantia
Darren McGavin as Student
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.01 GB
1280*952
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S 1 / 2
1.87 GB
1440*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S 1 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by FlickJunkie-2 7 / 10

Entertaining by inaccurate

I love the music of Chopin. That is why I was eager to see this 1945 classic about his life. After seeing it, I enjoyed the film so much that it spurred me to seek out some biographical information on his life. After having done so, I realized that the story in the film bore very little resemblance to the truth and I was greatly disappointed. It was just another example of extremely entertaining Hollywood drivel.

As a work of fiction, the film was nicely done. The story was enchanting and it painted Chopin as a very noble patriot, playing himself to death in concerts to earn money to support the Polish revolution, though I found no support for that in anything I read. Cornel Wilde was nominated for an Oscar for his performance, which was excellent indeed, but he was incongruously cast. Wilde is handsome and athletic looking and Chopin was plain and frail. Paul Muni, though charming in the role of Professor Elsner, was much too eccentric and ebulliently peculiar to be very believable. The best performance by far was given by Merle Oberon as the cold and iron willed George Sand, whose love affair with Chopin turned into a tyrannical attempt to shelter him from the world.

The best part of this film was the music of Chopin himself, played brilliantly by Jose Iturbi. The music alone was worth enduring the Hollywood prevarication. I also enjoyed the 19th Century costumes.

I rated this film a 7/10. If it were a fictional account of some person who never existed, I probably would have rated it a 9/10, because it was very enjoyable. However, such liberties were taken with the truth that I had to deduct a couple of points in protest. If you are a classic film buff or a classical music lover, it is definitely worth seeing.

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 8 / 10

A handsome Technicolor extravaganza...

For students of music, 'A Song to Remember' is to criticize, since it greatly romanticizes the life of Chopin and adds many fictional tissues...

However, criticism on that level must be tempered with the understanding that in 1945 this film did a deal to interest a wide public in Chopin's music... With the music adapted by Miklos Rozsa and performed by José Iturbi, there is much to enjoy and admire...

According to Sidney Buchman's screenplay, Chopin is a political idealist who devotes much of his career to adopt the cause of his native Poland in its struggle to throw off czarist oppression... As a young man Chopin (Cornel Wilde) sides with the revolutionaries, to the concern of his sagacious teacher and mentor Joseph Elsner (Paul Muni). When Chopin goes to Paris to win fame and money to support his political friends, Elsner accompanies him, to guide and protect him...

In the halls of a music publisher, Chopin makes the acquaintance of Franz Liszt (Stephen Bekassy), who is already an admirer of the young Pole's compositions... Liszt befriends him, promotes his career, and introduces him to the elegant and romantic novelist Georges Sand (Merle Oberon). The tempestuous couple fall in love and Chopin, against Elsner's advice, goes with her on a journey to Majorca, where his health is undermined...

The facts are that Chopin was never an active Polish revolutionary and pursued a career without political motivation... He went to Paris alone, and his affair with Georges Sand lasted eight years, until he left her after a quarrel...

Elsner did not accompany Chopin to Paris from Poland, nor did he ever engage in a duel of wits with George Sand for control of Chopin's life and aims...

Constantia, the character played by Nina Foch, never went to Paris to plead with Chopin to help his fellow Poles in their struggle against Czarist rule... Elsner and Sand never reflected, nor influenced Chopin's musical style to the degree implied in the film, and it would be a mistake to accept the movie impression of Sand as a nymphomaniac who betrayed Musset, destroyed Chopin, and changed her philosophy and politics to suit the views of each successive lover... When Sand thought she had found something approaching perfection in a man, she lived with him for years... She remained impervious to Musset's skeptical views and Chopin's aristocratic prejudices...

However, Charles Vidor's film is a handsome Technicolor extravaganza, directed with all the sweep and emotional vitality for which he was characterized... The film showcases a highly mannered Paul Muni; an effusive and intense Merle Oberon (a petite, exotic-looking and strikingly beautiful brunette, wearing gorgeous gowns, walking with grand éclat) and an elegantly tormented Cornel Wilde...

Having taken due note of all this, it is only fair to state that if one is willing to surrender to the gorgeous romanticism of the doings, and if one approaches 'A Song to Remember' as a fictional tale about a 19th century composer who wrote exquisite concertos, penetrating solo pieces, who loved the eccentric George Sand, who wanted to help his fellow Poles in the effort, who proved ungrateful to his mentor, then one is faced with electrifying scenes, courtesy of Merle Oberon who was never more forceful in her tense confrontation scenes with Muni for Wilde's attention and acknowledgment... Paul Muni's performance exuded a poetic kind-heartedness with quiet realism...

When the indifferent but determined Chopin decides to embark on the concert tour that will raise money for "the cause," Oberon seems very exciting in her trenchant speech about the bitterness and sorrow of her past that had hardened her to defy the world with her individualism...

Fine characterizations are contributed by Stephen Bekassy as Franz Lisz, George Coulouris as music publisher Louis Pleyel, and George Macready as Alfred De Musset, one of the more conspicuous lovers of Sand...

If taken as an essentially fictional work, 'A Song to Remember' is hilarious classical musical biopic which was unexpectedly popular...

Reviewed by blanche-2 8 / 10

You just have to forget it's a bio

"A Song to Remember" is supposed to be the life of Chopin but in fact, very little in it is historically accurate. It's still a beautiful, emotional, and sumptuous movie, filled with the heavenly music of Chopin played by Jose Iturbi.

"A Song to Remember" helped to popularize Chopin's romantic, passionate music and launched Cornel Wilde's star into the heavens. Though he's never done much for me personally, he cuts a dashing figure as Chopin. The Chopin of Columbia Pictures is a strong patriot of Poland who, under the influence of the controlling George Sand, becomes a self-involved artist. Sand believed (here anyway) that the artist needed to serve himself alone and not others. Thus, she cut him off from his teacher and friend, Professor Elsnore, who wants Chopin to finish his magnificent Polonaise, a freedom cry for his beloved Poland, which is being suppressed by the Russians. Under Sand's control, Chopin turns out little ditties instead.

There really was a Professor Elsnore, but he did not teach Chopin piano, rather, music theory and composition. The role is played effectively by Paul Muni, who works to protect the change in Chopin's personality and apathy toward politics to his family and friends. Merle Oberon is stunning as a cold George Sand. Nina Foch plays Chopin's Polish girlfriend Constantia (and in reality, Constantia did exist).

Well, what is true and what isn't? Chopin was a child prodigy, he did meet George Sand at a party which was also attended by Franz Liszt, the bad weather in Mallorca nearly killed him, and in fact, after that time, he was never fully healthy again. He broke with George Sand two years before he died. She is the one who tried to get back together. His burial isn't covered in the film, but Chopin is buried in Paris. At his request, his heart was removed and buried in Poland.

One of the scenes in "A Song to Remember" has a place in history, though not perhaps in Chopin's, but that of another famous pianist. During a party, it is announced that Franz Liszt will play. The room is plunged into darkness. As the audience listens, George Sand walks over to the piano and places a candleabra on top of it to reveal that it is not Liszt at all, but Chopin. It is said that because of that scene, Liberace never played piano without his own famous candelabra.

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