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Song Of Love


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Editorial Reviews

The music, composed long ago, still speaks to us. It reaches out to tell us of profound struggles and great genius, of aching setbacks and glorious triumphs, of three people whose names, like their music, echo across the years: Clara Wieck, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms.
The intertwined lives of the three musical legends form A Song of Love, a sumptuously produced and skillfully played biopic set to 11 musical pieces that include Schumann's poignant Arabeske, Brahms' tender Lullaby and the Mephisto Waltz of Franz Liszt. Katharine Hepburn portrays renowned pianist Wieck, married to troubled Schumann (Paul Henreid) yet romantically admired by Brahms (Robert
Walker). And virtuoso pianist Artur Rubenstein ghosts the recorded pieces that the stars, in a deft display of acting prowess, seem to play on screen. Bravo to all!

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Katharine Hepburn, Paul Henreid, Robert Walker, Henry Daniell, Leo G. Carroll
  • Directors: Clarence Brown
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0042ZEEI8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,206 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
65%
4 star
24%
3 star
12%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 34 customer reviews
This movie sticks to the facts of Clara Schumann's life.
Pat
And black and white is so beautiful, much more evocative of feeling and more sensual than color.
Clouise
Robert Walker, Paul Henreid, and Katherine Hepburn are all wonderful in it.
Rosella Ann Myles

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Pat on December 27, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Song of Love is poignant and tender with excellent acting and story. Katharine Hepburn makes the character Clara Schumann believable (as with all Hepburn's roles). The story is true to life and is funny and touching at the same time. This not an action movie, however, but it is a great love story. My being a musician, the music was great, but maybe I'm a little partial to Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms. This movie sticks to the facts of Clara Schumann's life. It introduced me to two fantastic women, Katharine Hepburn and Clara Schumann. It remains one of my all-time favorites (I have seen it five times). If you're going to buy Song of Love, go for it.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I first saw this movie on TNT in 1994. I have been searching for the title for years. This movie is an emotional, moving story of madness, and undying love between Schumann, Clara, his wife ,and Brahms. It is what first turned me on to classical music.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 4, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Ironically, in the film where Katharine Hepburn plays a subservient wife her character, Clara Wieck Schumann, is one of the most talented women she ever played in her career. Clara was a brilliant pianist, performing the works of Franz Liszt (Henry Daniell), but goes her father's objections to marry the struggling composer Robert Schumann (Paul Henreid). Clara retires and raises seven children, totally dedicated to her family. However, Schumann is unable to deal with his lack of success. After her husband breaks down during a concert performing the Cantata from his version of "Faust," Clara has him committed to an asylum. After his death, she returns to the concert stage to share her husband's music with the world.

There is also a strong soap opera element in that young Johannus Brahms (Robert Walker) comes to live with the Schumanns, falls in love with Clara, and even proposed to her after Robert dies. Without spending a lot of time reading about the lives of the Great Composers, it is my understanding that this particular romantic plot twist did not really happen. But then you know how Hollywood feels about being historically accurate.

"Song of Love" opens with Clara playing the dazzling finale from Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2. The actual piano playing for the film was performed by Artur Rubinstein. Hepburn worked daily with one of his pupils, pianist Laura Dubman, on fundamentals and techniques down to the distinctive hand posture for playing the piano used during that period. This Meryl Streep like devotion to the details paid off brilliantly and the illusion that Hepburn is actually playing is quite impressive.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jack Rice on July 8, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I must differ with a previous reviewer ---
"Even a subdued Hepburn seems to be more than a match for the men in this movie, although as portrayed in the film Schumann and Brahms are a pretty clueless pair."
I don't quite get that statement. "More than a match"? Schumann and Brahms are clueless about what? They all seem to have a wonderful time together.
"The audience ends up identifying with Liszt, who you get the feeling always knows how talented the lesser beings really are in this story."
That's a pretty pompous thing to say. Brahms and Schumann are the "lesser beings" to Liszt? That's like saying Beethoven was a lesser being to Mozart. What he may be responding to is Liszt as played by Henry Danielle, who is always masterful, whether playing his usual heel or, as here, a good guy.
He also refers to Song of Love as being "sanitized." That implies that there was something in the true story to be sanitized. I didn't think there was. I always thought of the Schumanns like the Brownings: love conquers paternal tyranny.
And as did the Brownings, so did the Schumanns help define an age - the Romantic Age. This is the era when artists were supposed to suffer for art or love. Schubert and Shelley were the icons. "Live for your art and die young!" If you weren't an artist, just plug in "love," like Rudolf at Mayerling. If one is aware of this context, then the film's melodrama becomes easier to accept.
Another issue I have with the other reviewer is his dismissal of how Hollywood treats history. I think if one did more research and less opinionating, they would find that the Hollywood of the studio system is conscientious about historical accuracy, unless one wishes to quibble.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 27, 2009
Format: DVD
SONG OF LOVE is directed by Clarence Brown and partly scripted by Ivan Tors (creator of TV shows SEA HUNT and FLIPPER). It's a romanticized biopic of Clara and Robert Schumann. (Brahms and Liszt also figure in the story.)

This one's a hanky-dampener's delight.
In 1840. pianist Clara Wieck (Hepburn) gives up a successful concert career to be housefraü to new husband, composer Robert Schumann (Henreid). The years bless them with seven children, but sadly Robert is victim of a progressive mental illness (no mention here that it may have been caused by mercury used to treat his VD). He ends up in an asylum after a suicide attempt and dies there, leaving a widow in deep financial straits.

Clara rejects the romantic overtures of young Johannes Brahms, who'd fancied her since he unexpectedly showed up on the Schummans' doorstep some years earlier. The widow Schumann determines to return to performing, and becomes a zealous advocate of her dear departed's work.

Kate Hepburn does remarkably well mimicking a concert pianist (performances are by Artur Rubenstein). Kudos to Henry Daniell for his portrayal of Franz Liszt. "Song of Love" is a period melodrama filled with glorious music and interesting people.

Related item:
The earlier COLUMBIA bio, A SONG TO REMEMBER (1945) explores the life and career of another Romantic-era composer, Frédéric Chopin.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.

(6.6) Song of Love (1947) - Katharine Hepburn/Paul Henreid/Robert Walker/Henry Daniell/Leo G.Carroll/George Chakiris
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