Song of Scheherazade
|Song of Scheherazade|
1947 Theatrical Poster
|Directed by||Walter Reisch|
|Produced by||Edward Kaufman
|Written by||Walter Reisch|
|Starring||Yvonne De Carlo
Charles Kullman (as Charles Kullmann)
|Music by||Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
William V. Skall
|Edited by||Frank Gross|
|Distributed by||Universal International Pictures|
Song of Scheherazade is a 1947 American musical film directed by Walter Reisch. It tells the story of an imaginary episode in the life of the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov ("Nicky"; Jean-Pierre Aumont), in 1865, when he was a young naval officer on shore leave in Morocco. It also features Yvonne De Carlo as a Spanish dancer named Cara de Talavera, Eve Arden as her mother, and Brian Donlevy as the ship's captain. Charles Kullman (credited as Charles Kullmann), a tenor with the Metropolitan Opera, plays the ship's doctor, Klin, who sings two of Rimsky-Korsakov's melodies.
Rimsky-Korsakov was indeed a naval officer, but the film otherwise bears no relationship to reality.
Rimsky-Korsakov, a midshipman in the Imperial Russian Navy, secretly yearns to be a composer, but naval regulations prevent him from doing so. He uses a stopover in Tangiers to work on his next composition, Scheherazade (which is actually a symphonic suite but in the film is a ballet), with the tacit support of his captain. There he meets Cara de Talavera and her mother, and romantic events and complications ensue. He has to leave to return home to Russia, where his ballet is staged, but Cara unexpectedly turns up as one of the dancers, and they are reunited.
Soundtrack and choreography
The film contains much colourful music and dancing. The choreography was by Tilly Losch. Rimsky-Korsakov's music was orchestrated by Miklós Rózsa and (uncredited) Eugene Zador. Themes by Rimsky-Korsakov that are used include: "Song of India" from Sadko (sung by Charles Kullman); Flight of the Bumblebee from The Tale of Tsar Saltan; "Hymn to the Sun" from The Golden Cockerel; Capriccio Espagnol, and Scheherazade.
- Jean-Pierre Aumont – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
- Yvonne De Carlo – Cara de Talavera
- Eve Arden - Madame de Talavera
- Brian Donlevy – Captain Vladimir Grigorovich
- Charles Kullman – Dr Klin (as Charles Kullmann)
- Elena Verdugo - Fioretta
- Phillip Reed – Prince Mischetsky
- John Qualen - Lorenzo
- George Dolenz – Pierre, the head waiter
- Terry Kilburn - Midshipman Lorin
- William Ching - Midshipman
- Molio Sheron - Basso
- Robert Kendall - Hassan (uncredited)
- Chester Conklin – sailor (uncredited)
The filmmakers expected censorship problems with Yvonne de Carlo's costumes so submitted them all beforehand for approval. However the censor found issue with Eve Arden's costumes, requiring some of her scenes to be re-shot.
- Rainer Seeking Gala Trail to Hollywood Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 04 Sep 1945: A2.
- Rimsky-Korsakov for Film: Hollywood Letter By Frank Daugherty Special to The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file) [Boston, Mass] 19 Apr 1946: 5.
- NEW HOLLYWOOD STRIKE: Keep It Decent HOLLYWOOD BRIEFS Musical "Wilderness" Time Out From Fishing By THOMAS F. BRADY. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 20 Oct 1946: X1.