Humoresque combines classical music and drama into a top quality motion picture. A score of unusual excellence gives freshness to standard classics and plays as important a part as Fannie Hurst's familiar story of a young violinist who rises to concert heights from the lower East Side of New York. Technically a remake (it was first produced in 1920) this version is virtually a new story, stripped of any racial connotations as was the case originally. Footage is long, running more than two hours, but does not drag because of the score potency and performance quality.

Humoresque combines classical music and drama into a top quality motion picture. A score of unusual excellence gives freshness to standard classics and plays as important a part as Fannie Hurst’s familiar story of a young violinist who rises to concert heights from the lower East Side of New York. Technically a remake (it was first produced in 1920) this version is virtually a new story, stripped of any racial connotations as was the case originally. Footage is long, running more than two hours, but does not drag because of the score potency and performance quality.

Integration of music and drama ties the two together so tightly there is never a separation. Some 23 classical numbers are included, plus a number of pop pieces used as background for cafe sequences.

Principal footage goes to John Garfield as the young violinist who, encouraged by his mother’s interest, devotes his life to music. He turns in a distinguished, thoroughly believable performance. Adding to the effectiveness is the nigh-flawless fingering and bowing during the violin shots. Joan Crawford’s role is an acting part, rather than a typical femme star assignment, and she makes the most of it.

1946: Nomination: Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture

Humoresque

Production

Warner. Dir Jean Negulesco; Producer Jerry Wald; Screenplay Clifford Odets, Zachary Gold; Camera Ernest Haller; Editor Rudi Fehr; Music Franz Waxman (cond.) Art Dir Hugh Reticker

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1946. Running time: 123 MIN.

With

Joan Crawford John Garfield Oscar Levant J. Carrol Naish Joan Chandler Tom D'Andrea
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