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Song of My Heart

Song of My Heart(1948)

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This film's working title was Tragic Symphony. The viewed print was incomplete with approximately six minutes missing. A Hollywood Reporter news item of October 1946 reported that, in addition to Benjamin Glazer and Nat Finston's planned biography of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Hal B. Wallis intended to make another in England with James Mason as the composer. According to documents in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, prior to production, PCA administrator Joseph I. Breen warned writer/director Glazer "of the necessity of handling all situations very carefully in view of the known fact that Tchaikovsky was a sex pervert. It is for this reason that we felt any emphasis on the fact that he lead a 'woman less life' would be highly objectionable." After the film was completed, the PCA cut certain lines which inferred Tchaikovsky's homosexuality and admonished Glazer that "sex perversion, or any inference of it, is forbidden."
       A New York Times news item of February 2, 1947 reported that actor Frank Sundstrom, a contemporary of Ingrid Bergman at the Swedish Royal Dramatic Theatre, had been brought to Hollywood by David O. Selznick following his 1945 Broadway appearance in The Assassin, and that his portrayal of Tchaikovsky would be his screen debut. According to a December 14, 1947 NYT article, Jos Iturbi recorded the film's piano solos, and his hands May actually have peformed them on camera, but due to his obligations to M-G-M, the studio which held his contract, he received no screen credit and declined a fee.
       Although Charles Chaplin's longtime cameraman, Roland Totheroth, received his first credit for a non-Chaplin-directed film in decades, Song of My Heart was actually shot by Curtis Courant, a Polish-born cameraman with extensive credits in Europe, who had been denied membership by the cameramen's union local. A Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Courant had been permitted to shoot two other films, Monsieur Verdoux and Mad Wednesday, but the union required that a stand-by first cameraman be hired as well and Courant not be permitted to give orders or touch equipment. A Hollywood Reporter column of October 1, 1947 commented that although the film had cost just under $600,000, it looked "like an easy $2,000,000 on the screen." Although the CBCS lists Mary Scott in the role of "Fleurette," that character is missing from the film's official cast list and was not in the viewed print.