The Eddy Duchin Story

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The Eddy Duchin Story
Eddyduchinstorymp.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by George Sidney
Produced by Jerry Wald
Jonie Taps
Written by Samuel A. Taylor
Starring Kim Novak
Tyrone Power
Victoria Shaw
James Whitmore
Shepperd Strudwick
Music by George Duning
Cinematography Harry Stradling
Edited by Viola Lawrence
Jack Ogilvie
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
June 21, 1956
Running time
123 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $5.3 million (US)[1]

The Eddy Duchin Story is a 1956 biopic of band leader and pianist Eddy Duchin. It was directed by George Sidney, written by Samuel A. Taylor, and starred Tyrone Power and Kim Novak. Harry Stradling Sr. received an Academy Award nomination for his cinematography in the film. The film received four nominations in total and was one of the highest-grossing films of 1956.

Soundtrack recordings: There were two musical "soundtrack" recordings issued in 1956 (actually studio recordings of songs from the film). Carmen Cavallaro, imitating Duchin's style, recorded a selection of twelve songs from the film entitled The Sound Track Album, The Eddie Duchin Story. This recording was issued by Decca in 1956 (mono) as DL 8289, and reissued in stereo in 1965 as Decca DL 78289 (also issued in Italy and Spain).[2] In the film, Carmen Cavalarro performed the music for the song "Manhattan."[3] Also in 1956, Capitol Records issued several releases of an LP album entitled (Selections from)The Eddy Duchin Story (Capitol T-716), conducted by Harry Geller, and featuring nine of the album's tracks performed by George Greeley (also released in Brazil and France).[4] It was Greeley who performed the music of Eddy Duchin on the actual film soundtrack, and his hands are shown when Tyrone Power mimed the music.[5] Both albums are listed as soundtracks in the Library of Congress.[6]

Some of the film's box office success can be attributed to the appearance of Novak in ads for No-Cal diet soda. Novak became one of the first celebrities to be featured in advertisements for soft drinks, and each ad also featured a reminder to see Novak in The Eddy Duchin Story.

Musician Peter Duchin, whose relationship with his father is a major subject of the film, has written very negatively about the script, saying there was too much unnecessary fictionalization of his parents' lives and deaths.

Plot[edit]

Fresh out of pharmacy school, young Eddy Duchin travels to New York in the 1920s to take a job playing piano for bandleader Leo Reisman's orchestra. But upon arrival, Eddy learns there is no such job.

A wealthy socialite, Marjorie Oelrichs, overhears his playing and takes a personal interest in Eddy. When he is invited to the home of her wealthy aunt and uncle, the Wadsworths, for a party, Eddy is disappointed to discover that he has been asked there merely to entertain.

Having fallen in love, Marjorie goes so far as to propose marriage to Eddy rather than the other way around. She has secret fears that she expresses on their wedding night, and tragedy strikes when Marjorie dies giving birth to their child.

An anguished Eddy abandons his baby boy, Peter, leaving him in the Wadsworths' care, and goes away from New York for many years. He serves on a warship in the war. Finally persuaded to visit his son, he meets Peter's governess, a British woman named Chiquita, who grows on him after an uneasy start. Peter is learning to play the piano.

Eddy has an engagement at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, but his hand freezes while at the keyboard. He eventually is diagnosed with a fatal illness and has no more than a year to live. After he marries Chiquita, he can't bring himself to tell Peter about his illness, so he simply says that soon he'll be "going away." Peter ultimately learns the truth.

Other soundtrack recordings[edit]

There was a musical tribute soundtrack, played by Al Lerner, A Tribute to Eddy Duchin. Released by Tops Records in 1957, this release featured the following tunes:

(A special detail from the vinyl record of this tribute is that it is not black, but is made of yellow translucent material, with some brown figures in veneer)

Awards[edit]

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards.[7]

Cast[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1956', Variety Weekly, January 2, 1957
  2. ^ The Eddy Duchin Story on Discogs.com Retrieved February 16, 2014
  3. ^ The Eddy Duchin Story Soundtracks Retrieved February 16, 2014
  4. ^ Capitol Records Discography Retrieved February 16, 2014
  5. ^ Cast of The Eddy Duchin Story Retrieved February 16, 2014
  6. ^ LOC, soundtracks for The Eddy Duchin Story Retrieved February 16, 2014
  7. ^ "The 29th Academy Awards (1957) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-21. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Monder, Eric (1994). George Sidney:a Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313284571. 

External links[edit]