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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interrupted Melody (1955)

The story of Marjorie Lawrence, played by Eleanor Parker, a popular Australian opera singer whose career was cut short in her prime by polio. MGM was on a biography kick of female singers in 1955. In addition to this film, they also released LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME about Ruth Etting and Lillian Roth's story, I'LL CRY TOMORROW the same year. Directed by Curtis Bernhardt, the film gets the full lush MGM treatment but the story is hackneyed. It's the usual rags to riches to tragedy to tragedy overcome movie bio but shockingly its screenplay won an Oscar! Even Ms. Lawrence herself reputedly disliked the film. Parker is quite good though her Oscar nomination for her performance is rather dubious though it's certainly preferable to her other wheelchair performance the same year in MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM. The film is littered with operatic highlights from MADAME BUTTERLY, LA BOHEME, TRISTAN UND ISOLDE and CARMEN with Parker making for a very sexy Carmen. Glenn Ford is the doctor husband who stands by her side through out it all. With Roger Moore, Cecil Kellaway, Stuart Whitman, Evelyn Ellis, Peter Leeds, Ann Codee, Stephen Bekassy and Eileen Farrell, who not only dubbed Parker's singing voice but plays one of Codee's students.

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