Rhapsody (1954) Poster

(1954)

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8/10
The sound of music
jotix10031 March 2005
"Rhapsody" is not the bad movie some of the comments to IMDb seem to indicate. While this was a film typical of the time when it was made, it offers some of the most glorious music ever heard in a Hollywood picture. The music takes center stage in the movie. As interpreted by Michael Rabin and Claudio Arrau, among others, Tchaikowsky, Liszt and Rachmaninoff were never given such loving tribute as in this film.

Charles Vidor directed this adaptation of a novel that might have been well regarded, enough to be brought to the screen. Ruth and August Goetz are given credit for the screen play. The Goetzes wrote many plays, among them, "The Heiress". Fay and Michael Kanin also contributed to the adaptation.

The story of Louise "Lulu" Durant, a spoiled rich girl, that defied her father into following what she thought was the love of her life, turns out to be a nightmare. Lulu was not prepared to play second fiddle, no pun intended, to anyone, let alone Paul Bronte, the talented, but egotistical violinist that is only in love with his career.

The story, by the way, takes place in Zurich, and not Munich, as someone reported in another comment. Lulu, who has ambitions of becoming a pianist, promptly realizes she is a lousy player and heeds the advice of the wise professor Schuman, but she makes the mistake of staying around, getting bored because Paul has only time for his music and not for her.

Enter James Guest, an American pianist. He falls in love with the beautiful Lulu, only to be rejected. When Paul becomes the toast of the music world, he breaks from Lulu, who in turn marries James on the rebound. Ultimately, Lulu realizes that James is the one that is real and the only one that cares for her and there's a happy ending when he makes a stunning debut playing Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto.

Elizabeth Taylor, in all her beauty, is seen as the ravishing creature she was in those years. She made an impression as the spoiled "papa's girl" that she was. In this film, as well as all those Ms. Taylor made during those years, she projects such a loving presence that is hard to find fault with her acting. This actress showed such magnetism and charisma in her films, something perhaps no one else can match.

Vittorio Gassman was perhaps Italy's best modern actor. He was trying to break into American movies. As Paul Bronte, he makes quite an impression. He was dashing and had the presence and good looks to play opposite his gorgeous costar.

John Ericson shows he had potential to go far in the business. Unfortunately he never made it big in Hollywood. He was an accomplished actor who deserved better. Louis Calhern as Nicholas Durant, Lulu's father had only a few scenes in the movie, so it is puzzling for one to agree with another comment about how he carried the film on his shoulders. If it was, it remains a mystery to us. Mr. Calhern was a fine actor who show a natural elegance to every thing he did in the movies.

Ms. Taylor is dressed by Helen Rose, one of the best in the business. Ms. Rose designs are an asset; anything that Elizabeth Taylor wore in the film enhanced her figure and gave the viewer an opportunity to see her as the film goddess was always was.
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8/10
La Liz at her best, along with some incredible music Warning: Spoilers
Sadly, we all know that poor Liz didn't age very well, but in her prime she was second to none. She's absolutely luminous in this one, and she looks fantastic in every scene. Not a hair out of place, perfect makeup and a flawless wardrobe. Her character, Louise Durant, also seems to be pretty close to the real-life Elizabeth in some ways. There's an unintentionally funny scene where Louise blithely informs her father that she intends to divorce her new husband because he has become an inconvenience to her constant scheming. She also tries out for an exclusive music academy, but when her lifeless piano playing is revealed at her audition, she immediately and calmly switches tactics: "Professor, I want to be a student here. I will pay double what everyone else pays." Superb realization of her character and herself in just a few seconds.

This is an Elizabeth Taylor star vehicle, so she expertly and effortlessly inhabits the center of all the action, but the supporting cast is fantastic as well. Louis Calhern, Vittorio Gassman, John Ericson, Michael Chekhov and many others turn in beautifully natural performances. Mr. Gassman and Mr. Ericson actually seem to be playing their instruments in a quite realistic fashion.

Finally, last but certainly not least, the music itself is awe-inspiring. There's a LOT of gorgeous music frequently interspersed throughout the film, and it's tremendously impressive, to put it mildly. The soundtrack features Claudio Arrau on piano and Michael Rabin on violin, covering for Mr. Ericson and Mr. Gassman, respectively.

IMO, Miss Taylor was the ultimate movie star and this film gives ample evidence of all her beauty and femininity and talent and skill as well as her surefooted acceptance of and expertise in every one of those qualities. A woman who was perfectly comfortable in her own skin from Day One. "Rhapsody" is an excellent, well-made film. You won't regret seeing it.
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7/10
lush '50s drama where the other woman is a violin
blanche-227 July 2005
Rhapsody is all about beautiful music and beautiful Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor, in a short, stylish hairdo, is at the height of her beauty in this stunningly photographed color film. And she's not the only beauty. Vittorio Gassman plays one of her love interests. Just try keeping your eyes off of him. Handsome John Ericson is the other man in her life.

All in all, it's candy for the eyes and ears, gorgeous to watch and to listen to with all that classical music. Elizabeth Taylor plays a role perfect for her, i.e., a spoiled, rich brat. She follows the man of her dreams, Gassman, a gifted violinist, to music school in Zurich, even though her own musical ability is pathetic and she'll have nothing to do except wait around for him to finish classes and rehearsals. When it's obvious that Gassman is totally immersed in his music, she begins to compete with the violin for his attention.

All three leads are excellent, as is Louis Calhern as Taylor's father. Taylor wears beautiful outfits. I'm certain this film was intended to be a showcase for her beauty, and there it succeeds. Despite some harsh comments made on the board, I think this you just have to take it for what it was intended to be and no more. Very entertaining.
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7/10
Definition of female sex symbol revealed
jabflyfish28 July 2006
I fell upon this movie one morning on TCM while in an early morning stupor and was instantly awakened by the sight of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. Although I had never seen any of her 1950's or early 1960's roles, I quickly realized this woman was Elizabeth Taylor and was completely mesmerized. Previous reviews of this movie compared the story line to a soap opera and I certainly agree. Without Ms. Taylor drawing me in, I would have lost interest very quickly; However, I could not resist watching her every move and eventually found myself absorbed by the story line and very competent acting by all performers. The classical music was a tremendous plus for the film and made up for the stand-in sets to some degree. For me, this film was about beauty. Beautiful music surrounding a beautiful woman in all her glory. Classical music hand-in-hand with one of the classic women of the big screen. I would recommend this movie highly if for no other reason than to see the definition of the female sex symbol. Elizabeth Taylor, with her face, figure, class and charisma, is that definition. She makes the so called sex symbols of today (Jessica Simpson, Pamela Anderson, etc.) look like caricatures. What a revelation! Mediocre story, adequate acting, beautiful music, and an irresistibly stunning leading lady are the summations of this movie, in my humble opinion.
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6/10
Liz won't play second fiddle to anyone...especially a violinist!
Doylenf19 September 2005
RHAPSODY is a typically lush romantic opus from MGM, conceived as a stunning tribute to the 22 year-old ELIZABETH TAYLOR and surrounding her with some melodious classic music from the two men in her life--JOHN ERICSON and VITTORIO GASSMAN.

All women should have such romantic woes--torn as she is, between two handsome men with matinée idol looks while she watches on the sidelines dressed in smart outfits by Helen Rose, with sophisticated looks at the camera and everyone else in the cast. She is as poised as a marble statue and just as cold and beautiful.

The tale is as wildly improbable as anything Joan Crawford ever did in lush B&W surroundings at Warner Bros. (a la HUMORESQUE), and the story itself is hardly more than routine, presenting Taylor as a spoiled young woman who mistreats men who are too immersed in their careers to notice she's around.

But on the plus side, there's that glorious music and some very convincing finger work by Ericson on the piano and Gassman on the violin. They really look as if they're playing their instruments, and both of them are up to the acting demands of their less than dynamic roles.

Taylor was certainly one of the most photogenic women who ever stepped before a camera, but it's a pity that her talent (at this stage) is not a match for her fabulous wardrobe and glossy, tremulous close-ups that have her torn between two men without ever ruining her make-up with real tears.

Absurd fun, if only for the music and the decent performances, but actually a very routine romantic angle that is a mere trifle against a splendid background of passionate classical pieces.
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8/10
Vidor's "Rhapsody," is Taylor's homage to her stunning beauty
Nazi_Fighter_David7 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Another pampered lady of wealth, another rebellious daughter of another rich man, Liz is the destructive element in the lives of two musicians…

A girl with a lot of time on her hands, she desires urgent attention… So, while Vittorio Gassman intently practices his scales, the poor little rich girl tickles his ears or reclines indifferently on elegantly upholstered divans… She's the aimless femme fatale, the idle jet set flirt: decorative, but useless…

As usual, Taylor plays a wealthy girl who couldn't make her mind between two quite different musicians, each of whom has his weakness… Gassman, a tough-minded violinist, will not mix business with pleasure—its art before Liz… But John Ericson, a brilliant pianist, cannot so easily resist the Taylor enchantment, and he submits under, taking to drink under the strain of living with Liz and her millions…

The film is a tedious romantic drama which vainly attempted a smart veneer but remains justly proud of a splendid musical soundtrack
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8/10
competing and winning in love and music
blitzebill28 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I bumped into this film today, read a couple of reviews here and decided to see what the fuss was all about.

Yes the music is central here as is the extreme devotion the characters dedicate to it. Obsession and drive/ambition to be the best in the world of the concert hall has and always will be the focus of the soloist.

The violinist and pianist are also competing for the love of a woman who has no clue about that ambition and obsession. Taylor does a good job of it, and realizes finally near the end that she can be part of the musical life of one she loves.

Love and music both win out at the end.

This film also reminds me of "The Competition" with Richard Dreyfuss and Amy Irving. Again competing and winning in love and music prevails in that film as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the producer and director of "The Competition" did an intensive study of "Rhapsody" to put their film together.

One other thing, both Gassman and Ericson were excellent in mimicking their performances on their respective instruments. It is not easy accomplishing that, and both Dreyfuss and Irving did as well in "The Competition," which I recommend as a follow-up to this film.
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6/10
Tedious but an interesting period piece
dancopp19 September 2005
Yes, Rapshody is somewhat tedious and quite melodramatic, but let me mention the positive offsets:

1. The dazzlingly beautiful, voluptuous Elizabeth Taylor.

2. Adult themes, and must have been considered quite risqué at the time.

3. Emotionally charged classical music.

4. Generally quite well acted.

5. Good direction, cinematography, settings, and costumes.

Whether or not the positive offsets overcome the somewhat tedious, melodramatic plot depends on one's tolerance for melodrama and how strongly one values the various offsets.
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Compulsory Viewing for all those taking relationships with talented artists seriously
soccermanz6 November 2007
This film should be compulsory viewing for all of those of either sex who want to be taken seriously by a talented artist whether a musician, stage, film or television actor, professional sports player and so on. Elizabeth Taylor is quite excellent as the rich, indulged young lady who still thinks that she can be the focal point of her chosen man's world in this case a self obsessed violinist who was still infinitely preferable to so many of her other male co-stars. And his fingering and bowing was quite superb - I only wish that I could have heard the sounds that he actually made and who actually made the beautiful music that forms the solid foundation of what was a thoroughly enjoyable film ? I agree that Louis Calhern as her father was superb - it is a pity that she listened to so little of what he said and in her case beauty was not even skin deep.
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7/10
Beautiful music; ravishing Elizabeth; pedestrian script
jjnxn-129 June 2013
As far as the script for this ode to classical music goes it includes absolutely nothing you haven't seen before but it's presented with that inimitable MGM sheen.

Made during that period when Elizabeth Taylor was at the very apex of her beauty she captivates as she drips in jewels and beautiful gowns in dazzling Technicolor. She's hard to pull your eyes from but she is teamed with two men, Vittorio Gassman and John Ericson, who are almost as beautiful as she. Excepting Louis Calhern who is just right as Liz's bon vivant father, the supporting cast blends into the woodwork.

It's the music that matters and makes this picture however. Some of it is absurdly staged, i.e. the spontaneous performance of an entire violin symphony in a small restaurant, but what can you expect from a romantic drama in the 50's. Mostly though the music is played full out in the proper settings and is glorious and well worth muddling through the somewhat turgid proceedings that surround it.
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10/10
Well, SOME aspects are excellent!
stancym-16 March 2006
No, it's not an excellent movie overall. But it's good, visually beautiful, fun, romantic, and has outstanding music. All three leads: Elizabeth Taylor, John Ericson, and Vittorio Gassman, give very good performances and are the definition of what today we call "eye candy."

Some aspects of the plot are actually realistic. You still see women who look to find their identities primarily through their men and expect a man to "make them happy" rather than be responsible for their OWN happiness. And as someone who was more than once involved with an artistic type, a "performer," I can tell you there is some truth in the characters played by Ericson and Gassman.

My point: there is melodrama here, but also grains of realism which give the film some substance. And you have to remember, the movie is set in the early 50s. This works as a period piece, displaying culture, styles, values, and gender roles of that time.

The instrument-playing which is acted by Gassman and Ericson is outstanding, and you feel like you have the best seat at wonderful performances of classical music, only you did not have to buy a ticket. I did not know who Michael Rabin, the actual violinist, was until I saw this film. Now I am aware he was possibly the greatest violinist of all time. HIS real life story would make an incredible movie!

I don't know why Gassman and Ericson did not catch on and become bigger stars in America. Perhaps because this film was not a big hit? John Ericson was in the successful film "Bad Day at Black Rock," but he did not have a sympathetic part so it did not boost his career as a leading man. Too bad,he'd have been a great leading man for many 50s and 60s films. Gassman fortunately did find leading man roles before and after this film, but mostly in Italian films which I don't have access to.

There is an absurd "over the top" scene in a café early on, and obviously the film was not shot on location, but even so, if you like 50s films you will enjoy this one, especially if you like classical music and looking at gorgeous hunks and gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor.
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8/10
A guilty pleasure
franzfelix12 April 2005
Although other reviewers of this movie may dwell on its doggish qualities, I confess I can't let it slide any time TCM shows it. Taylor, at her absolutely most sumptuously gorgeous loves a violin virtuoso while rehabilitating a pianist who has lost his way due to psychological implosion. The scenes when Taylor patiently encourages the musical rehabilitation are like junk food loaded with cancer causing initials...once you start you can't stop.

As an interesting aside, the great Claudio Arrau plays the actual piano part. I have been told that in Mel's Dinner in LA, there is a picture of the maestro, in rakish youth, enjoying the splendors of his Hollywood moment.
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Just to correct some facts
edward-miller-129 July 2003
This is just to correct some misinformation in a previous comment. Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but facts are facts. In 1954, at the time of Rhapsody, the gorgeous Miss Taylor was 22, not 18. Her beautiful wardrobe is by Helen Rose, M-G-M's in-house designer of the 50's. (Yes, Virginia, there were other costume designers besides Edith Head!)
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6/10
Rhapsody Strikes Discordant Chord **1/2
edwagreen21 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
When Elizabeth Taylor made "A Place in the Sun" in 1951, this was supposed to be her entry into more mature roles. In this film, for the first part of it, she sounds like a girl out in the rural areas of "National Velvet." She is churlish at best with a whining, annoying stature.

Louis Calhern, as her father, certainly proves again that Father Knows Best but to a certain degree.

It is with her attempted suicide in the film that she finds maturity and her performance improves.

She goes back and forth in her desires between two notable musicians, the violinist (Vittoria Gassman) and pianist John Ericson, both of whom are excellent in their respective roles. Ironically, Gassman was married to Shelley Winters, the latter being a rival to Taylor in "Place in the Sun."

The music here is divine and Tchaikovsky was never better.
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4/10
Elizabeth is a classical music groupie who threatens careers
rose_lily28 June 2013
At best this is a tepid melodrama redolent with overtones of comic operetta, sans the musical vocals. Taylor plays a selfish, wealthy young woman, Louise Durant--- a seductress with a manipulative game plan. She targets two gifted classical musicians for would be suitors, here portrayed as male window dressing by Vittorio Gassman and John Ericson. Louise proceeds to turn these two objects of her affection inside out, pitting one against the other as contenders for her beauteous self. She creates turmoil in their emotional lives, threatening their professional aspirations. And what Louise wants is total devotion from her man on a 24/7 schedule, an agenda of mutual possession; plenty of activity in the bedroom with time out for bathroom breaks.

Elizabeth Taylor in this film radiates her youthful beauty at its best. Her screen power cannot be denied, however what is reaffirmed in Rhapsody is that Taylor was a "Movie Star" with all the power of a magnetic personality, which that definition entails. As an actress, her range was limited and talent but sufficient. What the audience sees when they see Elizabeth Taylor on film is always: Elizabeth Taylor.
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7/10
acting better than the music
mlamar-34 November 2009
Like stacym said above, I think this was a very good film. While others have complained that the story is mediocre, I found Elizabeth Taylor's subtle eye movements and facial expressions intriguing, and the story changed enough that it kept me wondering what was going to happen next. Gassman and Ericson played their instruments so lifelike you almost thought they were playing them. Louis Calhern again provided a sophisticated performance as her distanced dad. In fact, I thought that the music was not as exceptional as the acting, although the selections were chosen to show off the virtuosity of the performers rather than for their beautiful melodies. (I am a Puccini and Lehar fan.) The actors were all impressive in their roles and should have received more awards than they did for their consummate collaboration.
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9/10
Sumptuous, melodramatic and thoroughly entertaining!
boirin3 March 2017
This was loosely based on the Henry Handel Richardson novel, 'Maurice Guest', which explored obsessive, destructive and unrequited love amid the backdrop of music students in Leipzig at the turn of the twentieth century. This film adaptation took huge liberties with the plot, played down or eliminated most of the characters, sanitized the sexuality and ditched the bleak ending (though happily so).

Enough has been said here about Elizabeth Taylor's breathtaking gorgeousness, the lushness of the classical music score and the brilliant instrumental simulations by Vittorio Gassman and John Ericson, but not enough about Charles Vidor's direction, which keeps the film on a thoroughly entertaining, albeit melodramatic, path.

The best part IMO is the last fifteen minutes or so, which takes a wrenching turn and builds the tension with a spectacular rendition of Rachmaninoff's Concerto 2 (by far the best version I've ever seen on screen). Ericson's performance here is amazing and almost runs away with the film.

Last but not least, leave cynicism aside and enjoy that hopelessly gorgeous ending!
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8/10
A young woman falls in love with a self centered violinist, who has no time for her but she rejects the love of a young pianist, dedicated to her.
quibus4 April 2006
Sometimes it is not the movie itself, or the actors, that draw the attention, but rather the photography, or in this case the music. "Concerto #2 In C Minor For Piano And Orchestra" from Sergei Rachmaninoff by the famous French pianist Claudio Arreau and "Concerto In D Major For Violin And Orchestra" from Peter Ilyitch Tschaikowsky by the violinist Michael Rabin from New York. Most directors do not want to spend time for that. The movie is dull, and so is Elizabeth Taylor's acting. Hardly any intrigue or adventure. But it is a tribute to the genius of Michael Rabin. In fact the biography of this genial violinist is worth a movie in itself, not in the least because of his too early, tragic death. So, although this movie is not worth watching twice, it can certainly be listened to, over and over again.
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How a woman finds her most suitable second half
anna.chan23 September 2000
Summary: Louise falls in love with talented violinist Paul and return to his last year of academy training in Zurich. However, Paul's frivolous behavior as a musician and Louise constant need of pampering turns the lovers apart. Meanwhile James, an aspiring pianist rescued the heart-broken Louise from suicide. Here begins the journey for Louise to realize who her true love is.

Comments: Taylor is her usual self - a walking porcelain doll. The character of Ericson should have been very appealing to girls, however, it is a pity that this film did not bring his career to higher position. The best part of the movie is the musical performance. Both actors are great musicians. However, it is quite hilarious to see "the whole orchestra" suddenly appear in the restaurant when Bronte starts to perform.
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10/10
Louis Calhern & Liz Taylor Carried this film on their BACK!
whpratt119 August 2004
If you are a great lover of the classic piano and violin solos and want to see Elizabeth Taylor portray her real personality with men,as she did in real life with husbands, this is the picture for YOU! Elizabeth Taylor (Louise Durant),"Secret Ceremony",'68 was a woman who fell in love with two men who had great talent. Vittorio Gassman (Paul Bronte), "Mambo",'55, who was a struggling violin player who caught Louise's eye and captured her heart strings. John Ericson (James Guest) ,"Bad Day at Black Rock",'55 was a piano student struggling with money problems and also fell in love with Louise. Louis Calhern (Nicholas Durant),"The Asphalt Jungle",'50 was Louise's father who had plenty of money to allow his daughter to do as she pleased, but seemed to give her great advice when she needed it. Vittorio Gassman came to America to actor in a few films and later on become a great star in Italy, like our Spencer Tracy in the US. Louis Calhern was a great veteran of the screen and gave an outstanding supporting role to Liz Taylor. Much credit should be given to a great violinist, Michael Rabin who performed all the solos.
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7/10
Music And Beauty Combine To Elevate This Film Above Its Mostly Unremarkable Script
atlasmb6 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Is it better to be the lover or to be loved? This is the central question of "Rhapsody", a film about a young woman, Louise Durant (Elizabeth Taylor), and the two musicians between whom she divides her attention. Paul Bronte (Vittorio Gassman) is a violinist and James Guest (John Ericson) is a pianist. Each falls for the charms of Louise, though they differ in the way they choose to divide their time between Louise and their fledgling music careers.

The director of the film, Charles Vidor, may have overused filters in Ms. Taylor's closeups, but who am I to argue with the wonderful results? At age 22, she is the personification of radiant beauty in this film, and anyone can understand how these men might be distracted.

The film is filled with enjoyable music, and it should be mentioned that Gassman and Ericson have to fake playing some extremely difficult passages, which they do very well. As an aside, check out Vittorio Gassman in "Sharkey's Machine" (1981) if you want to see him play a contrastingly villainous role.

The film rolls along amicably until the finale, which is full of emotion and transcendence, making the film worthwhile. Louise unexpectedly finds understanding and is transported to a greater love. One of the musicians discovers within himself a strength he never knew he had. And the accompanying music is Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto--one of the most beautiful romantic pieces ever written.

I would describe the ending as Randian, a reflection of Ayn Rand's views on romantic love. Many misunderstand her lifeview as cold and calculating, but nothing could be further from the truth. Just as she celebrated the heroic in men/women, she championed heroic love between two people. Rachmaninoff's Second is not just romantic, it is triumphant. As the orchestra swells over the insistent notes of the piano, the music emphasizes the adoring look on the face of Louise and it celebrates the pianist's new-found egoism (self love, based upon his self-accomplishment). It's a beautiful scene on many levels and it elevates the film significantly.
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8/10
Elizabeth Taylor as a failed pianist makes her choice between a violinist and a pianist.
clanciai6 January 2015
This is one of Elizabeth Taylor's more interesting features, made while she was still at the top of her beauty and talent, sensitively portraying the love of two musicians, one decisively preferring his musical career to her, the other succumbing to her and almost perishing in the process in "a marriage of inconvenience". Vittorio Gassman and John Ericson are the two musicians, a violinist and a pianist, but although you would prefer Gassman all the way, Ericson actually improves, while both hopelessly remain in the shadows of her. The best actors, however, are Louis Calhern as the very realistic father and Michael Chekhov as the music professor, who knows the delicacy of his trade. The music is first class all the way, so that in between, when there is no music, you long for the next musical moment to turn up. Best of all is the café scene in the beginning, when all the guests appear to be musical students spontaneously forming an orchestra to accompany Vittorio Gassman. The real violinist is, however, Michael Rabin, and the real pianist of all the solo performances is Claudio Arrau, at the time perhaps the best pianist in the world. The film begins and ends with Rachmaninov's second and crowns the delightful trio drama with a conclusion which feels right in spite of all.
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Tedious
Ripshin21 August 2004
Although I enjoy the soundtrack, this boring melodrama leaves a lot to be desired. Taylor plays an incredibly unlikable, spoiled woman, who bounces back and forth between two musicians. I don't care about her, and feel sorry for the two guys she is "messing with." John Ericson is extremely attractive, and I'm quite surprised he didn't make a bigger name for himself. All location filming is obviously utilizing doubles, and I'm assuming the film was shot in Hollywood. Frankly, this film is a waste of time. It is tailor-made for Taylor, and an unfortunate "fit" it is. Technical credits are excellent, and Ms. Taylor's wardrobe looks great.
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Liz Taylor, Munich and Music
guil1228 September 2002
What more could you ask for. This was the MGM period for Miss Taylor when she was more or less cast in technicolor romantic nonsense films. All of 18 years old, a gorgeous dish, looking absolutely flawless in her Edith Head gowns, Elizabeth is caught in a triangle of two men of the classic music world. One [Vitorio Gassman, Shelley's ex] is a concert violinist who seeks his fortune in the world of music. The other [John Ericson fresh from Broadway hit STALAG 17] who is on a GI scholarship from the war and studying the piano. Charles Vidor directed this small film with some very nice photography of the Alps, Switzerland and Europe. Not much the actors could do as the plot really didn't go anywhere. Miss Taylor gave an honest portrayal of a spoiled rich girl [is there any other kind?] who rebels her father's wishes [played by the oh so elegant Louis Calhern] to adorn his dinner table of well known guests. She follows her true love, or so she thinks, Vittorio, to Munich where he intends to perfect his violin under the teaching of Michael Chekhov [that wonderful method actor]. However, things get sticky as lovely Liz demands more attention. She eventually marries Ericson to spite Gassman walking out on her. However, hubby, realizing she doesn't really love him drowns his sorrow in drink. When Vittorio returns he sees what she's done to her husband and says unless she can give him back his dignity, they're through. Well, as in most romantic plots the guy gets the girl or in this case the girl gets the guy. But which guy? Rent the video and find out. There are some wonderful musical pieces in this film by Liszt, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky. The music, the scenery and gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor make this film worth your while.
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10/10
Absolute Beauty Times 3
jdupre2 November 2019
The best combination of beauty ever on the screen---Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Elizabeth taylor in her prime. In my 80 year top ten.
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