Interrupted Melody is a 1955 biographical musical film in CinemaScope and Technicolor, which tells the story of Australian opera singer Marjorie Lawrence's struggle with polio. The film was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, directed by Curtis Bernhardt and produced by Jack Cummings from a screenplay by Marjorie Lawrence, Sonya Levien, and William Ludwig.
Original French poster
|Directed by||Curtis Bernhardt|
|Produced by||Jack Cummings|
|Written by||Marjorie Lawrence (autobiography)|
|Screenplay by||Sonya Levien
|Based on||Interrupted Melody 1949 autobiography|
|Music by||Alexander Courage,
|Edited by||John D. Dunning|
The operatic sequences were staged by Vladimir Rosing. The film stars Glenn Ford, Eleanor Parker, Roger Moore and Cecil Kellaway. The singing voice of Lawrence was provided by Eileen Farrell; Farrell also appears on screen as a student struggling to hit a high note in a scene with the singing teacher Mme. Gilly (Ann Codee).
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The story traces Marjorie's (Eleanor Parker) long, hard road to the top, her success on two continents, and her turbulent marriage to American doctor Thomas King (Glenn Ford). While touring South America in 1941, Lawrence is stricken with polio, which not only abruptly ends her career but briefly robs her of the will to live.
According to Eleanor Parker, the filmmakers could not use Marjorie Lawrence's voice because she had lost her upper register. The singing was done by Eileen Farrell, who plays a small part in the film. Glenn Ford would only appear in the film if he got top billing. Parker says "I wanted to do what was right for the picture so I said let him have the top billing. Glenn was a kind of a difficult man, but he was right for the picture and a very fine actor."
According to MGM records the film made $1,801,000 in the US and Canada and $2,227,000 overseas resulting in a profit of $101,000.
Parker could read music and had a firm soprano voice with perfect pitch. She prepared for the singing aspect of her role by listening to the numbers for weeks and she sang them during the filming in full voice instead of just lip-synching. Walter Ducloux conducted the MGM Studio Symphony Orchestra. MGM published a selection of eleven numbers on an original motion picture soundtrack album.
- "O don fatale" from Verdi's Don Carlos
- Act 1 finale from Verdi's Il trovatore
- "Un bel dì" from Puccini's Madama Butterfly
- "Habanera" from Bizet's Carmen
- "Seguidilla" from Carmen
- "Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix" from Saint-Saëns' Samson and Delilah
- Brünnhilde's Immolation Scene from Wagner's Götterdämmerung
- Excerpts from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde
- "Annie Laurie" by Alicia Scott
- "Over the Rainbow" by Harold Arlen
- "Voi que sapete" from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro
- Medley: "Anchors Aweigh" by Charles A. Zimmermann; "Marines' Hymn", based on works by Jacques Offenbach; "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" by Sam H. Stept
- "Quando me'n vo'" (Musetta's Waltz) from Puccini's La bohème
- "Waltzing Matilda", traditional
- Griffin, Helga M. Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 19 January 2017 – via Australian Dictionary of Biography.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- Domestic take see also "The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955", Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956.
- "Interrupted Melody (1955) - Curtis Bernhardt - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- "Eleanor Parker: Incognito, but Invincible" (PDF). Noir City Sentinel. Summer 2010.
- "Eleanor Parker: More Than Just the Sound of Music Baroness" by Richard Corliss, Time, December 20, 2013