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Humoresque (1946)

Joan Crawford , John Garfield , Jean Negulesco  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant, J. Carrol Naish, Joan Chandler
  • Directors: Jean Negulesco
  • Writers: Clifford Odets, Fannie Hurst, Zachary Gold
  • Producers: Jack L. Warner, Jerry Wald
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0008ENI98
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,392 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Humoresque" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New Featurette The Music of Humoresque
  • Theatrical Trailer

Editorial Reviews

Glamorous socialite Helen Wright (Joan Crawford) takes what she wants clothes, alcohol, men uses them up and tosses them aside. Then she meets brilliant young violinist Paul Boray (John Garfield). But this is one toy she can?t break. Instead, her love for Paul brings Helen to the breaking point. In this acclaimed and profound exploration of desire, Crawford makes Helen a rich, layered character torn between selfless love and selfish impulses. Garfield matches her as the driven genius. Humoresque?s production values extend to the musical interludes, dubbed by Isaac Stern. Garfield?s dazzling technique is thanks to two real violinists hidden behind him one to do the fingering and one the bow work. Bravo!

DVD Features:Featurette:The Music of Humoresque - RT: 9:42Theatrical Trailer:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A ROMANCE TO DIE FOR... December 9, 2001
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This is a superb melodrama about a young man, Paul Boray, from the wrong side of the tracks, who plays a mean violin, and the unhappily married society matron, Helen Wright, who becomes his patron and then his lover. John Garfield is well cast as Paul Boray, the ambitious violinist. Joan Crawford does a star turn as the glamorous and beautiful patron of the arts, who underwrites Boray's big break and ends up falling passionately in love with him. Theirs is a turbulent relationship. He is singularly devoted to his music, and she is an alcoholic, plagued by self-doubt. They are star crossed lovers whose romance is destined to end tragically.
The film has a magnificent musical score courtesy of violinist virtuoso Isaac Stern. Pianist Oscar Levant is a double threat in this movie, as he, too, does a star turn as Boray's best friend, acting as a comedic foil. He also dazzles on the ivories, playing away so that the viewer wonders why he, too, does not have some society dame underwriting a show for him, such is his talent. All in all, a well cast and well acted film. Fans of Joan Crawford and all those with an appreciation of classical music will especially enjoy this well made film.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You're a hangman's noose to me." October 9, 2005
By Dave
Paul Boray (John Garfield) grew up in the slums of New York with one dream in his mind: to play the violin. His mother buys him a violin for a birthday present and from then on Paul practices constantly. As he grows older he becomes a highly-skilled violinist, but with no wealthy friends his great potential has no where to go. Until he meets the wealthy and unhappily married socialite Helen Wright (Joan Crawford), who is instantly drawn to Paul after hearing him play. Helen is used to getting everything she wants in life, and Paul's fiercely independent attitude upsets her.

Despite a rocky start they soon agree on one thing: with the right friends Paul could become one of the most famous violinists of all time. So Helen introduces Paul to her wealthy friends and in no time at all Paul is booked with numerous concerts. But Paul is much more than a smart investment to Helen, and the more they see of each other the less they can deny their passionate feelings for each other. Paul's family disaproves of their relationship, but Paul won't listen to anyone try to stop him from seeing Helen.

Forgetting the fact that a charming young woman (Joan Chandler) is already in love with him, and that Helen is married, he begins a dangerous affair with her, not realizing the consequences it could have in regards to his career. His best friend (Oscar Levant) also shares a love for music, but can do little to convince Paul that the affair is destined to fail. Paul's career as a violinist is so busy that he doesn't always have time to spend with Helen, and she begins to resent this more and more.

When Helen's husband grants her a divorce, she rushes to Paul to tell him the good news, only to realize that Paul's first love is and always has been music.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joan Crawford's finest film and performance. January 23, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Not only was Joan Crawford at the height of her beauty and glamour when she made Humoresque - she was also at the height of her acting ability, having just won the Oscar for Mildred Pierce. It would be unfair to say Humoresque is a better film than Mildred Pierce, considering how different the two films are. Mildred Pierce was gritty and dark and strived for harsh realism. Humoresque is romantic and tragic - beautifully written, acted, and filmed. There are moments in movies that linger in your mind a long time after viewing.. The finale of Humoresque is one of those moments. I'm certain I will never forget Joan Crawford's melancholy walk along the sea shore in the moonlight. It is one of the most artistic scenes ever captured on film...and all the emotion Joan goes through is genuine and deep. It is definitely a glimpse through to the heart of Joan Crawford, vulnerable and beautiful, defiant and strong. For in real life, Joan Crawford was never loved. And her character in Humoresque was, as Joan described, "a woman with too much time on her hands and too much love in her heart." Perhaps that was the real Joan Crawford, a woman clinging to her career and the fans that loved her, when nobody else did. People have long criticized Joan Crawford, but who would you be if nobody loved you?
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Good Can Come Of This Relationship August 4, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
In HUMORESQUE we see a dedicated young musician (John Garfield) meet a wealthy possessive woman (Joan Crawford) who takes an obsessive interest in him and his career as a violinist. We know that nothing good can come of this relationship and we are surely looking at a tragedy in the making. In spite of all the warning signs we feel compelled to watch this movie to the end.
The acting of both Garfield and Crawford is superb. The role of Helen Wright seems to be the perfect vehicle for Crawford. Oscar Levant excells as a pianist and Garfield's friend. The rest of the strong supporting cast includes J. Carrol Naish, Joan Chandler and Tom D'Andrea. Garfield's violin is played by Isaac Stern.
HUMORESQUE received an Oscar nomination in 1946 for Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture. Jean Negulosco directed many other fine movies during his career including JOHNNY BELINDA, ROAD HOUSE and THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mom loves it.
Ordered this for mother, as it is one of her favorite movies. It may be hard to find in the future, so I got her a new copy in VHS her favorite format.
Published 6 months ago by lesmoore2204
5.0 out of 5 stars Humoresque
A movie well worth the watching! For me it's Joan Crawford's BEST performance ever... John Garfield also puts in an Oscar earning performance. I highly recommend!
Published 7 months ago by Daniel W. Block
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Classic Joan Crawford. John Garfield great. I love old movies good old acting. I will watch again and again. Tape i good quality.
Published 7 months ago by GWilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific film
I am a lover of both Joan Crawford and John Garfield and of course being a lover of Music and the study of it,I thought the film was GREAT! Read more
Published 7 months ago by GQBOB
5.0 out of 5 stars It's hard to know where to begin praising this film
Amazingly, I saw this movie last night for the first time ever and I was blown away. I was glued to the TV. Like all great movies, it works on multiple levels. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Peter T. Wolf
5.0 out of 5 stars "Is that all you do is play the violin?"
I wrote a very brief review of Humoresque when reviewing the TCM Greatest Classic Legends - Joan Crawford 4-DVD set about 5 months ago, but I want to write a longer review of this... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Joker
5.0 out of 5 stars Good deal, in good quality.
As a collector of the classic Hollywood movies, and from my favorite studio, M-G-M, I am always pleased to complete my collection with yet another movie from that area. Read more
Published 13 months ago by E. Beer
5.0 out of 5 stars Sid Jeffers: "It isn't what you are, it's what you don't become that...
HUMORESQUE received a well-deserved Best Music Oscar nomination.

This perfect amalgam of melodrama and classical music stars Joan Crawford as a wealthy socialite who... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Annie Van Auken
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine quality of print
I was astonished at the fine quality of the print I
received. I don't know how it could have been better. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mr Jazz De Cou
2.0 out of 5 stars Stop the Music
Way, way too much music. Way, way too many clichés. A waste of talent. "View tips and guidelines" is telling me I need six more words in order to submit this review. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Nick Armenante
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