Song of Norway (film)
|Song of Norway|
1970 Theatrical Poster
|Directed by||Andrew L. Stone|
|Written by||Andrew L. Stone|
|Music by||Robert Wright
based on the music of Edvard Grieg
|Edited by||Virginia Stone|
|Distributed by||ABC Pictures|
|Running time||138 min.|
Like the play from which it derived, the film tells of the early struggles of composer Edvard Grieg and his attempts to develop an authentic Norwegian national music. It stars Toralv Maurstad as Grieg and features an international cast including Florence Henderson, Christina Schollin, Robert Morley, Harry Secombe, Oskar Homolka, Edward G. Robinson and Frank Porretta (as Rikard Nordraak). Filmed in Super Panavision 70 by Davis Boulton and presented in single-camera Cinerama in some countries, it was an attempt to capitalize on the success of The Sound of Music.
Song of Norway was one of a series of commercial disasters that followed the success of My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music, two films that led studios to imagine a full-scale musical film revival was in the cards. Similar box-office disasters included Darling Lili, Mame, Paint Your Wagon, and Lost Horizon.
However the film was popular in some territories. In Britain it was the most popular "reserved ticket" film of 1971.
It earned rentals of $4.4 million in North America and $3.5 million in other countries, recording an overall loss of $1,075,000.
Critics were virtually unanimously negative on its release, noting especially the aping of The Sound of Music and its generally poor production quality despite obvious expense. Pauline Kael said: "The movie is of an unbelievable badness; it brings back clichés you didn’t know you knew - they’re practically from the unconscious of moviegoers. To criticize this movie is like tripping a dwarf." Critics' views were echoed by cast members. Harry Secombe was to note later that it was the kind of film "you could take the kids to see... and leave them there."
- "ABC's 5 Years of Film Production Profits & Losses", Variety, May 31, 1973 p 3
- Hollywood heavies facing the music - Entertainment News, Timothy M. Gray, Media - Variety
- Peter Waymark. "Richard Burton top draw in British cinemas." Times [London, England] December 30, 1971: 2. The Times Digital Archive. Web. July 11, 2012.
- Kael, Pauline (1971) Deeper into Movies, Calder Boyars
- TV-am interview, 1987
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