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Song of Norway [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Florence Henderson, Toralv Maurstad, Christina Schollin, Frank Porretta, Harry Secombe
  • Directors: Andrew L. Stone
  • Writers: Andrew L. Stone, Homer Curran, Milton Lazarus
  • Producers: Andrew L. Stone, Virginia L. Stone
  • Format: Color, Original recording reissued, NTSC
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 2
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • VHS Release Date: August 11, 1998
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305074070
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,132 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Song of Norway is a 1970 film adaptation of the successful operetta of the same name, directed by Andrew L. Stone. Like the play from which it derived, the film tells of the early struggles of composer Edvard Grieg and his attempts to develop an authentic Norwegian national music. It stars Toralv Maurstad as Grieg and features an international cast including Florence Henderson, Christina Schollin, Robert Morley, Harry Secombe, Oskar Homolka, Edward G. Robinson and Frank Porretta (as Rikard Nordraak).

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Daniel G. Berk on September 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
While the cinematography and the musical numbers in this film are five-star, don't come to it expecting a definitive or even a particularly accurate film biography of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.
Norway is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited, and this film captures that beauty. The dancing is beautiful, and the music is enjoyable, even though some liberties have been taken with Grieg's compositions to render them singable.
Don't expect this film to be more than it is, and it can be a most pleasant experience.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Rick D. Barszcz on February 18, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I was in my early 20's when this film came out. It was shown in 70mm 6 channel real stere sound (before dolby!) and it played at the Cinerama Theatre in Hartford Connecticut. Three months later i went to Norway and followed the footsteps of all the actors in this great motion picture. I have visited Norway several times since this film and the wonderful music of Edvard Grieg plays thru my head on each visit. Corney or not, its a great piece of work and it would be nice to get down to basics again in this new century. I only wish this would come out on DVD and in letterbox. I'll never be able to say enough great things about this classic.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jiten S. Merchant on July 30, 2006
Format: DVD
I saw "Song of Norway" as a child in Bombay (now called Mumbai) India, in 70mm with 6-track sound, sitting in the Balcony's first-row-center of one of the best reserved-seat "roadshow" theaters in this country....and have never forgotten it. The same theater used to have re-runs of great films in "morning shows" and this movie returned at least twice. I made it a point to see it again....and again.

I can understand why some people find it cloying or corny. It demands an innocence, a surrender to sentiment that is alien to the "modern" psyche; and would thus engender much pooh-poohing from people uncomfortable with (their own?) childlike emotions.

However, NOBODY could ever deny the sheer gorgeousness of it all --- the marriage of Grieg's music with STUNNING visuals and sound, underscoring the strong relationships in his life; making for a whole much greater and more moving than any of its parts.

I cant BELIEVE how this masterpiece has been allowed to languish without a decent DVD release --- the last one I'm told was woefully inadequate and is, in any case, unavailable. Someone PLEASE let us know if a "restoration" is on the cards, allowing us to experience the film in all its original glory on DVD....and its lovely soundtrack on CD!

ABC Pictures and Buena Vista....ARE YOU LISTENING??
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Huge Viking on October 18, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I first watched this movie just after its release at a movie theater in Boston in 1970 and saw it again aboard an SAS flight from Copenhagen to New York in January 1972. I was impressed with the scenery of the old country. Many of these places I have visited as a youth and as an adult. Edvard Grieg's music describes the love and adoration he had for his country. Listening to his music I can picture in my mind the beauty of Norway's picturesque, breathtaking landscape; i.e. fjords, forests, waterfalls and mountains.

Toralv Maurstad plays the famous Norwegian composer, struggling to gain fame and fortune through his music. While many of his countrymen thought of him as a failure, he gained the respect of the famous Norwegian poet, playwright and dramatist Henrik Ibsen who, his home was in the town of Grimstad where my paternal family came from, asks Grieg to compose music for his play "Peer Gynt" that has become one of the best known musical scores in the world today: "Peer Gynt Suite I" Op. 46, and "Peer Gynt Suite II" Op. 55, each with four movements. The opening theme "Morning Mood" and the third movement "Anitra's Dance" are the most popular themes.

Another Norwegian, Richard Nordraak, who wrote Norway's national anthem "Ja Vi Elsker Dette Landet" (Yes We Love This Land), becomes a close friend of Grieg by exposing his music and pulling a few strings with well-known people such as Hans Christian Andersen. Florence Henderson certainly was the perfect choice as Grieg's cousin and wife, Nina, with her beautiful singing voice and talent.

While many still criticize Grieg's works, there are many more who admire this great composer's love for Norway reflected through his numerous Small Piano Pieces, his famous "Piano Concerto in A minor" Op. 16, and "In Autumn" Op. 11. Grieg's music will always live on in the minds of children and adults of all ages.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Karl Hess on August 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Rarely has a legitimate theatre musical been so carefully and lovingly transferred to the big, wide screen. The creators researched their material meticulously and while certain liberties were taken for dramatic enhancement, many of the historical events portrayed were authentic and consistent in spirit with Grieg's life.
This was originally a broadway production from the operetta venue and while some of the original numbers were dropped, many new numbers were added which enriched the story.
But most of all, this is a glorious musical. The scenery is breathtaking, filmed in many of the original locations where the events took place. The choreography and music set a new standard in support of the musical numbers. The singing is glorious. Florence Henderson is wonderful as Nina Grieg. Her voice is a pure, heartwarming soprano. Remember that she was a musical-comedy star of considerable stature long before the Brady Bunch. Frank Poretta is charismatic as Richard Nordraak, Grieg's long time friend and gives us a rich, powerful voice to boot. Torav Maurstad is Norwegian and portrays Grieg with meaning and affection. He is not a professional singer but his voice suffices as a composer singing his own songs.
The other supporting players add depth to the story line and the choreography is spectacular. The sound track, not available as yet on CD, is beautifully transferred from the film and is a colector's item in itself.
There is a marvelous Christmas sequence filmed high in a snow-packed retreat and an animated troll number set to Peer Gynt's Suite that is delightful at any age.
What a rare treat for music lovers. This movie would be a most welcome addition to collectors and lovers of truly memorable movie musicals--one of the two or three best in my memory. I usually watch it with renewed enthusiasm each Christmas season.
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