Song Without End
|Song Without End|
|Directed by||Charles Vidor
|Produced by||William Goetz|
|Written by||Oscar Millard|
|Music by||Morris Stoloff
|Cinematography||James Wong Howe|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||11 August 1960|
|Running time||141 min.|
|Box office||$1,500,000 (US/ Canada)|
Song Without End, subtitled The Story of Franz Liszt (1960) is a biographical film romance made by Columbia Pictures. It was directed by Charles Vidor, who died during the shooting of the picture and was replaced by George Cukor. It was produced by William Goetz from a screenplay by Oscar Millard, revised (uncredited) by Walter Bernstein. The music score was by Morris Stoloff and Harry Sukman with music by Franz Liszt, and the cinematography by James Wong Howe and Charles Lang (uncredited).
The film starred Dirk Bogarde as Franz Liszt, Capucine as Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, and Geneviève Page as Marie d'Agoult, with Patricia Morison as George Sand, Alexander Davion as Frédéric Chopin, Lyndon Brook as Richard Wagner, Albert Rueprecht as Prince Felix Lichnowsky, Erland Erlandsen as Sigismond Thalberg, Ivan Desny, Martita Hunt, Lou Jacobi, and Marcel Dalio.
Columbia Pictures had plans to film The Franz Liszt Story back in 1952. Oscar Saul was hired to write and produce with William Dieterle directing. When this version failed to materialize the studio announced in 1955 that Gottfried Reinhardt had been commissioned to write a new screenplay. Finally in 1958, veteran producer William Goetz took over the project with Oscar Millard as his screenwriter. Charles Vidor, who had previously directed A Song to Remember (1945), a biopic of Frédéric Chopin, was assigned to direct.
As nearly forty musical selections would be heard in the film, Morris Stoloff, head of Columbia's music department, began immediate work on the soundtrack. After selecting the pieces to be played, he engaged piano virtuoso Jorge Bolet, the Roger Wagner Chorale and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to perform the score. The recording of the music was completed prior to the start of production so that Bogarde could learn the finger movements necessary to make him appear to be playing the piano realistically in the film. Musical advisor Victor Aller spent three weeks rehearsing Bogarde in proper piano technique.
Academy Awards 
- "Rental Potentials of 1960", Variety, 4 January 1961 p 47. Please note figures are rentals as opposed to total gross.
- Turner Classic Movies Website, accessed 31 March 2009
- Song Without End at the Internet Movie Database
- Article on the difficult history of the production (from the Turner Classic Movies website)