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Monday, April 18, 2016

The Eddy Duchin Story (1956)

A young pianist (Tyrone Power) from Boston arrives in 1920s New York with aspirations of joining a big band. His dreams comes true and though he will become famous, his future will be clouded with tragedy. I doubt many people remember Eddy Duchin today but he was a popular pianist and bandleader in the 1930s and 40s who died of leukemia at the age of 41. When cast in the film, Tyrone Power was already 41 so it's rather embarrassing to see the 41 year old Power acting all boyish and naive during the beginning of the film when he supposed to be in his early 20s. And frankly, Duchin's life while sad isn't all that interesting. Novak is drop dead gorgeous in her Jean Louis gowns but she's terrible when she tries to "act". The movie was hugely popular in its day and one of the highest grossing films of 1956 and the soundtrack album was a best seller. Today, what makes if watchable is the glamour of the settings, the lush CinemaScope photography and the movie star presence of Power and Novak however awful their performances are. In fact, I wouldn't recommend the film except to Power and Novak fans. Directed stolidly by George Sidney. With Victoria Shaw, James Whitmore, Rex Thompson, Frieda Inescort, Shepperd Strudwick, Larry Keating and Gloria Holden. 

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