Song Of Love
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
"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.Read more ›
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.
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
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like Katherine Hepburn and her movies. This was not outstanding, but worth a viewing.Published 9 days ago by Ellen Merritt
My mom was looking all over for this... you made her year!Published 2 months ago by Patrick J. Manteufel
Wonderful, fun and a bit campy, especially when Kate attempts to simulate piano-playing. What a beauty she was!Published 4 months ago by dodo
I saw this film in 1949 in the theater and greatly influenced my interest in classical music which has enriched my life tremendously. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Joel CBS
One of the least known of Katharine Hepburn's films..she delivers a sterling performance as always and this movie is a "must-have" for any classical musicians as it... Read morePublished 7 months ago by littley
What a love story. It doesn't matter how old this film is because it is a period piece but the acting and the music are mesmerizing!Published 8 months ago by BAS
A VERY HOLLYWOOD RENDITION OF A VERY GERMANIC TALE.
STILL FUN TO WATCH.
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