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~*~Classic Film 21 Questions~*~


littletramplover
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It does sound like "Gone With the Wind." But that wasn't the film I had in mind.

 

Clue 3: The romance between the female star and one of the male stars ends because he has a noble devotion (but not to her). (Still sounds like "Gone With the Wind." I guess they recycled those plots!)

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Clue 5: A somewhat predatory character named George tries to extract a promise from one of the male leads that they'll start living together (despite the scandal in society): "Living in the same way I taught you to live.... No intruders. With the same contempt for what the world thinks and says."

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Clue 7: A number of years after this film?s release, its director (who was twice married to movie stars) directed another film that had many of the same characters that were in this first film. He apparently died while the film was in production...and the directing reins were taken over by a Hollywood legend.

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Let's see if this "world-famous" clue helps.

 

Clue 8: The film ends this way: The lead female character, who is world-famous and is being painted by a world-famous artist, refuses to leave this sitting in order to see her former lover, who is world-famous and is now dying. He dies in bed without reconciling with her--while a world-famous composer plays the piano in the very next room.

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Clue 10: The screenplay was first conceived in the '30s...and it was a pet project of Frank Capra's. When he split from Columbia, he reluctantly left the script behind. Once the film became a big hit, he sued the studio for a percentage of the profits...but since his case was weak, his lawyers urged him to withdraw the suit (which he did). If Capra had cast the picture as planned, classic movie lovers would have seen Spencer Tracy as a victim of tuberculosis and Marlene Dietrich as a cross-dresser.

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Clue 11: In a parallel universe of bad movie title writing, some of the other classic films the Oscar-nominated actor appeared in would be called "My Wife Killed My Brother, Our Child, and Then Herself," "I Survived the Black Plague," and "I Was Never the Same After My Circus Accident."

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Congratulations! Indeed the film is "A Song to Remember."

 

Early in the film, when Frederic Chopin (Cornel Wilde) is fleeing his native land, Constantia (Nina Foch) gives him a handful of Polish soil so that he remembers his roots (and she needs to bring another handful to him much later in the film when he has forsaken his friends fighting for liberation).

 

In one of the film's most dramatic scenes, George Sand (Merle Oberon) carries a candelabra into a darkened salon where the attending audience thinks that they?re listening to Franz Liszt playing the piano...only to reveal that it is actually Chopin at the keyboard.

 

Oberon, of course, is the predatory George who wants Chopin to live openly with her "no matter what the world thinks and says."

 

The film, which was nominated for six Academy Awards (including Best Actor for Cornel Wilde), was directed by Charles Vidor, who was married to both Karen Morley and Evelyn Keyes (not simulatenously). In 1959 he was making "Song Without End" (with Dirk Bogarde as Franz Liszt, Patricia Morison as George Sand, and Alex Davion as Chopin), but he died from a heart attack while the film was in production, and the directing duties were taken over by George Cukor (they share a directing credit on that film).

 

In the film's final moments, George Sand, who is being painted by Eugene Delacroix, refuses to leave the sitting to visit Chopin's deathbed (while Liszt is playing the piano just outside his room).

 

Cornel Wilde's other films (with their more appropriate titles) include "Leave Her to Heaven," "Forever Amber," and "The Greatest Show on Earth."

 

Well done!

 

 

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