Humoresque (1946) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Paul Boray comes from a working class background. He has been interested in the violin since he was a child, which his father disliked since he felt it a waste of money, but which his mother supported. Into his adult life, Paul wants to become a concert violinist, and although he shows talent, he… Runtime: 125 min Release Date: 25 Dec 1946
It opens with a close up of John Garfield and that, already, gets you going. The intensity and power of the man. A from rags to riches tale with an extra something. The extra something here is Clifford Odetts, the language is as pungent as its pace. The truth in John Garfield's face rises everything several notches but, perhaps, the biggest surprise from a 2007's standpoint, is Joan Crawford's performance. She's never been one of my favorites, I always thought impossible to warm up to her and her tough lady from the wrong side of the tracks left me cold but here, she's <more>
rounded and brilliant, torn between who she is and who she would like to be. Great lines, fantastic close ups - wearing eye glasses, removing the glasses and squinting - At moments you feel the camera devours her. The director, Jean Negulesco - Three Coins In The Fountain, How To Marry a Millionaire - never flown this high. This 1946 Warners melodrama has the stuff that great works of art are made of. Thrilling
CRAWFORDS BEST PERFORMANCE!!!a great film!! (by olddiscs)
Crawford was great but not my favorite actress..Bette Davis was.. but this performance in Humoresque can only be portrayed by Crawford! She was absloutely perfect for the role of Helen Wright.. and yes was brilliant..To me this is her best role: not sudsy or sappy... beautiful,sophisticated, society bitch who sexually longed for a man & did everything in her power to control & possess him..I feel the chemistry between she & co star John Garfield was ELECTRIC!! He portrayed the violinist,Paul Boyar so well.. the man she lusted for and wanted to possess for herself... The score, the <more>
photography the direction Brilliant..Ive seeen this film many times & each time it gets better... Im very critical of Miss Crawfords work but 5 or 6 of her films are outstanding.. This is a notch above Mildred Pierce for me because the character she is portraying is so similar to herself according to bios etc ..& her beauty & class are unquestioned..the closeup of her ,as she observes Garfield in the rehearsal hall..is comparable to Garbo's closeup ,final scene , of Queen Christina!!! This is a film that never ever bores me..I rate it a 10 !!! Watch It....
The best Joan Crawford performance ever. (by Charles Herrin)
As Helen Joan Crawford gives her greatest performance and she should have been nominated for Best Actress that year. She certainly gave a better performance than Olivia De havilland gave in "To each His Own". John Garfield is also at top of his form and he certainly is a good match for Miss Crawford. What a shame that in a few short years he would be backlisted. Oscar Levant gives a typical Oscar Levant snide performance but he is a bit more serious in this role as the best friend of Mr. Garfield. the use of the "Liebestod" from "Tritan und Isolde" coupled with <more>
the waves rushing in might appear to some as camp but Miss crawford's handling of the scene is nothing short of magnificent. One usually overlooked performance is that of then billed Bobby Blake who has been much in the news lately. He portrayed Mr. Garfield's as a boy and did a good job of it without the ususal winey voice and mannerisms that made him so easy to hate in the "Our Gang" comedies. I have always thought that the adult robert Blake would have been an excellent choice to portray John Garfield in a biopic of his life. By all means see "Mildred Pearce" which won Miss Crawford the Oscar but don't miss "Humoresque".
A Timeless Romance for Cinema and Music Lovers (by claudio_carvalho)
In New York, the performance of the virtuoso violinist Paul Boray John Garfield is cancelled. In his apartment, Paul recalls when he was a boy and chooses a violin as a birthday gift from his working class parents. Paul dedicates his youth playing violin studying in the National Institute Orchestra with Professor Rozner and dreams on becoming a concert violinist. During the Great Depression, Paul overhears a conversation of his father and his older brother about his dedication to the violin and seeks out his best friend Sidney Jeffers Oscar Levant asking for a job.Sid introduces Paul to <more>
the wealthy Helen Wright Joan Crawford and her husband Victor Wright Paul Cavanagh in a party. Helen is an unhappy alcoholic woman that sees that Paul is a talented violinist and brings him to work with the influent agent Bauer Richard Gaines . His career starts to take off and Paul becomes her protégée. Sooner they have a love affair and they fall in love with each other. But Helen is jealous of the love of Paul for his violin and her insecurity ends in a tragedy."Humoresque" is a timeless romance for cinema and music lovers. The screenplay has awesome dialogs with unforgettable lines. When Helen gives a note in the theater to Paul, he is playing Carmen of Bizet and she feels like Don José and learns that she would never have the exclusive love of Paul since he is in love with his violin and music . In the end, he is playing the tragic Tristan and Iseult of Wagner. Therefore, the film has many layers associated to the classical music. My vote is nine.Title Brazil : "Acordes do Coração" "Chords of the Heart"
Cliff Odets, Joan Crawford and John Garfield is an almost unbeatable parlay. Odets and Garfield were both members of the Group Theatre on Broadway in the thirties - other members were Lee J. Cobb and Elia Kazan - and one of Odets' most successful plays was Golden Boy about a poor boy from the East Side who is also a gifted violinist. Odets wrote Golden Boy in 1938, I don't know when Fannie Hurst wrote her short story Humoresque but the similarities are clear except that in Golden Boy the violinist becomes a prizefighter highlighting the conflict between Art and commerce. Whatever, <more>
Odets turns in a great script here and Crawford and Garfield play the bejeezus out of it with handy support from Ruth Nelson and Oscar Levant. It's undoubtedly one of Crawford's finest performances even if they do 'borrow' the suicide from A Star Is Born and change the sex. If you're looking for a movie that personifies the forties look no further.
Although Joan won an Oscar the year before Mildred Pierce this is her greatest film. She never looked better either. This is the "ultimate" Joan Crawford movie!
"I didn't make the world, I barely live in it." (by IlyaMauter)
Jean Negulescu, a director of Rumanian origin based in Hollywood since 1930s was responsible for several good films and "Humoresque" is one of them. It's a good drama starring Joan Crawford who gives here one of her finest performances as Helen Wright, a cynical and selfish society woman who set her sight at a young talented violinist Paul Boray John Garfield , offers help in making his carrier and later becomes concerned with his love, almost an obsession with his work - music, that comes to the point of neglecting as she thinks their relationship and herself personally - <more>
"I'm tired of playing the second fiddle!" Significant part of the film has to do with New York, that is "all full with all kinds of animals, and not all of them are born here" as says the most cynical character in the film Sid Jeffers played by Oscar Levant. It's there that we witness several tribulations in Helen - Paul's relationship resulting in a tragic ending. Wittiness of the script is probably the most important ingredient of "Humoresque" besides Joan Crawford's performance which turns it into a good classic film that stands repeated viewing. 8/10
Crawford takes Garfield under her wing (by blanche-2)
"Humoresque" is a 1946 film based on a novel by Fanny Hurst, and is actually a remake of a film made in 1920. This "Humoresque" boasts a great cast, beautiful music, melodrama, and gorgeous violin playing by Isaac Stern.John Garfield stars as struggling violinist Paul Boray who finally gets his big break with the help of a socialite, Helen Wright Crawford , when his pianist friend Oscar Levant brings him to a party at her home. Helen is a beautiful married lush who is nearsighted, so when Paul starts to play the violin, she asks for her glasses. She has a lot of <more>
attractive male hangers-on, one of which is Monte Loeffler a mustached Craig Stevens . It takes a while, but Helen and Paul at last declare their love and give into their lust. Paul's mother Ruth Nelson takes a dim view of the situation, fearing it will hurt her son's career as Helen is a demanding woman and won't take a back seat to his music. In one scene, which to anyone in theater or music is hilarious, after she practically has an orgasm as she watches him play during a rehearsal, Helen sends Paul a note saying that she must see him immediately. Since he's going over music with the conductor and rehearsing with a full orchestra, he doesn't leap off the stage and into the audience in order to rush to Helen's side. She's devastated and gets drunk. I ask you, if she doesn't understand why he didn't stop rehearsal, what chance have they got? This is a wonderful film, reminiscent of the family all living together in "Golden Boy" not to mention the violin aspect and the wealthy patron angle in "Serenade," the Mario Lanza film that was based on a novel by James Cain. Helen Wright is one of Joan Crawford's best performances, too.The film is not without some problems, but you can't fault the incredible music played by Isaac Stern, including the title piece by Dvorak, and music of Sarasate, Lalo and Bizet's Carmen as magnificently adapted by Franz Waxman. The love theme from "Tristan und Isolde" was a post-war favorite in movies evidently, showing up in a few films - it is used here to good, if heavily melodramatic advantage.My big problem is the end of the movie. The last two scenes between Paul and Sid Levant seem completely unnecessary. To have put THE END in what to me was the natural place would have been much more dramatic and compelling. It wasn't done, I think, because the story is actually told in flashback - at the beginning of the film, we see a CANCELLED sign over a poster announcing a performance of Paul's, and the story unfolds. There wasn't any reason really for it to start in flashback either.As for Crawford's big finale, it is very well done and Crawford performs the actions beautifully, but once you've seen Catherine O'Hara do the same scene on Second City, there's just no way to watch it with a straight face, I'm afraid. Even if you haven't, it is pretty borderline over the top - what saves it is Helen's anguish.Paul Boray is a perfect role for the talents of John Garfield, a wonderful actor, though for my money he had a limited range. The sexual tension between Garfield and Crawford is tremendous, and it's a credit to both actors how their scenes clicked. There are other wonderful performances as well, particularly from Paul's parents, played by Ruth Nelson and J. Carroll Naish. Levant is given a lot of wisecracks, as is Tom D'Andrea as Paul's brother. Joan Chandler is the long-suffering girlfriend who's been brushed aside for Helen, and she's very good.The script is solid with some great dialogue and the direction by Jean Negulesco is very crisp. Highly recommended - just don't get a DVD of Second City where they parodied this movie before you've actually seen it.
Absorbing story with flawless acting by Garfield (by viswanat-1)
I was astounded by the virtuoso performance on the violin by John Garfield. I truly believed he was a multi talented man. I looked up IMDb and found out that they were using two doubles to actually play the violin. I am even more amazed that the two actual violinists by his side each played the bow and the strings separately. The effect was perfect to the viewers. The pieces selected were also of the type that could easily appeal to those whose knowledge and experience with western classical music is limited. Bravo Isaac Stern for this music. I am reminded of Fiddler on the Roof which also <more>
had this great violinist give us the pleasure of his performance. Oscar Levant is of course a pianist also and it is he who turned out to be multi talented.