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Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall(1947)

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Remind Me

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Cleaning woman Nora Ryan, an Irish immigrant who works at New York's Carnegie Hall, loves music and revels in listening to the sounds around her. While other charwomen pay little heed to the great musicians who pass through their music hall, Nora tries to hear as many rehearsals as she can. One day, Nora witnesses an angry dispute between conductor Walter Damrosch and the temperamental pianist Tony Salerno. Though Tony unintentionally vents his anger at Nora as he storms out of the concert hall, he later apologizes to her and listens as she tells the story of how, as a child, she came to America and "found heaven" in the just-built Carnegie Hall. She also reveals how she came to adore Damrosch, who allowed her to watch Peter Tschaikowski conducting one night. Tony falls instantly in love with Nora, and the two make a date for the following evening. Nora and Tony eventually marry and have a young son, whom they name Tony Salerno, Jr. The marriage ends tragically, however, when Nora's husband falls down a flight of stairs and dies. In the years that follow, Nora gets a better-paying job and prepares her son for a career as a great concert pianist. Believing that the best way to acquire an appreciation for music is to spend time in a great concert hall, Nora takes Tony, Jr. to Carnegie Hall to attend as many concerts as possible. Nora's interest in her son's lessons grows with time, and she eventually moves to the residence quarters of Carnegie Hall. There, Nora monitors her son's every move and worries that Tony, Jr. will injure his hands playing with other children. One day, when Nora hears her son playing a jazz tune on the piano, she becomes upset and tries to guide him away from the sounds of "Tin Pan Alley." Tony, Jr., however, falls in love with band singer Ruth Haines, and strikes up a friendship with Vaughn Monroe, the band's leader. Much to the dismay of his mother, Tony, Jr. accepts an invitation to tour with the band, and in an ensuing argument, Tony, Jr. accuses Nora of selfishness. He then leaves his mother, severing all ties with her, and marries Ruth. Years pass, and while Tony, Jr. becomes a success, his marriage to Ruth deteriorates. Hoping to repair their marriage, Ruth visits Nora and asks her for advice about her son. After telling Ruth to swallow her pride and return to Tony, Nora has her friend, John Donovan, buy two airplane tickets to Chicago for them. Instead of buying the tickets, though, John surprises Nora and Ruth by taking them to Carnegie Hall to be present for Tony's concert debut. Nora watches with pride as her son performs his own composition for an appreciative audience.