Rhapsody in Blue (film)
|Rhapsody in Blue|
|Directed by||Irving Rapper|
|Produced by||Jesse L. Lasky|
|Written by||Howard Koch
Clifford Odets (uncredited)
|Story by||Sonya Levien|
|Music by||George Gershwin
|Cinematography||Merritt B. Gerstad
|Edited by||Folmar Blangsted|
|Distributed by||Warner Brothers|
Starring Robert Alda as Gershwin, the film features a few of Gershwin's acquaintances (including Paul Whiteman, Al Jolson, and Oscar Levant) playing themselves. Alexis Smith and Joan Leslie play fictional women in Gershwin's life, Morris Carnovsky and Rosemary De Camp play Gershwin's parents, and Herbert Rudley portrays Ira Gershwin. Oscar Levant also recorded most of the piano playing in the movie, and also dubbed Alda's piano playing. Both the Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris are performed nearly completely, the "Rhapsody..." debut of 1924 conducted, as it was originally, by Whiteman himself.
The film introduces two fictional romances into the story, one with a woman named Julie Adams (played by Joan Leslie) and the other a near-romance with a rich society woman played by Alexis Smith.
The film notably features performances of Gershwin music by two talented and accomplished African-American musician/singers, Anne Brown (1916-2009) and Hazel Scott (1920-1981). Both were child prodigies whose training included study at the Juilliard School.
Anne Brown, a soprano, created the role of "Bess" in the original production of George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess in 1935. In the film, Brown sings the aria Summertime from Porgy and Bess. But in the film, the song is completely rearranged, with the first verse sung by chorus only. William Gillespie, an African-American bass-baritone, appeared uncredited as "Porgy" in the 'Porgy and Bess' sequence, but did not sing.
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Hazel Scott was raised in New York City and became known as a jazz and classical pianist and singer. Like Lena Horne, Scott was one of the first African-American women to have a career in Hollywood as well as television. Scott plays herself in the film, performing in a Paris nightclub.
- Robert Alda as George Gershwin
- Joan Leslie as Julie Adams
- Alexis Smith as Christine Gilbert
- Charles Coburn as Max Dreyfus
- Julie Bishop as Lee Gershwin
- Albert Bassermann as Prof. Franck
- Morris Carnovsky as Poppa Morris Gershwin
- Rosemary DeCamp as Momma Rose Gershwin
- Oscar Levant as Himself
- Paul Whiteman as Himself
- Al Jolson as Himself
- George White as Himself
- Hazel Scott as Herself
- Anne Brown as Herself as Bess in 'Porgy and Bess' scene
- Herbert Rudley as Ira Gershwin
Awards and nominations
The film was nominated for the Grand Prize at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. The film was also nominated for two Academy Awards; Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture, lost to Anchors Aweigh) and Best Sound (Nathan Levinson).
- "Festival de Cannes: Rhapsody in Blue". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-01-04.
- "The 18th Academy Awards (1946) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rhapsody in Blue (film).|
- Rhapsody in Blue at the Internet Movie Database
- Rhapsody in Blue at AllMovie
- Rhapsody in Blue at the TCM Movie Database
- Rhapsody in Blue at the American Film Institute Catalog