powered by AFI
In 1895, in a small village in the Ukraine, young Soloman Solomonovich Hurok is told by his music instructor that he lacks talent and should resign himself to being an appreciative audience member. In 1910, in Saint Petersburg, Sol is reprimanded by the owner of the hardware store at which he works for ignoring his job to lead a choral group in the backroom. Sol goes that night with his fiancée Emma to see Feodor Chaliapin in Boris Godunov and is enthralled by the opera singer's majesty. At the opera's conclusion, Sol confesses to Emma that he quit his job, then sneaks into Chaliapin's dressing room, where he overhears Chaliapin's manager convince the singer not to undertake an American tour. Sol gains Chaliapin's attention by encouraging him to conquer the United States and convinces him to let him manage the tour, although after he leaves, Chaliapin derides Sol's ambitions. Sol then tells Emma that he must leave for America and that he will send for her soon. In New York, Sol boards with jeweler Ben Golder and his family, and becomes a trolley car conductor. Despite failing to receive an answer to the eighty letters he has written to Chaliapin, Sol remains devoted to the arts, and after arranging a pupils' recital at the Bronx Settlement House, is impressed that the working-class audience appreciates the music so intensely. Determined to bring the best of the performing arts to this audience, Sol marries Emma upon her arrival in America and is encouraged by her devotion to his dream. As a wedding present, Golder gives them tickets to the Hippodrome, and the couple is enchanted by ballerina Anna Pavlova's performance in Le Cigne . Sol again sneaks backstage, where he tells Pavlova that it is a crime against the arts for her to be performing on the same stage with trained seals and elephants. Sol states that he wants to assemble a great ballet company around her, but when he admits that he has no money, Pavlova dismisses him. Late that night, Sol receives a telegram from Chaliapin, summoning him to Paris, and although Sol wants to ignore it and settle down, Emma urges him to fulfill his aspirations. In Paris, however, a chagrined Sol learns that the egotistical Chaliapin wired him only to win a bet. Although Chaliapin offers to reimburse Sol for his trip, and introduces Gregory Lawrence to him as his American protege, Sol rips up Chaliapin's check and leaves in disgust. Gregory, a talented singer, follows and confesses that he is merely a doorman, but nonetheless manages to convince Sol to become his manager. On the ship to America, Sol meets famed Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaye and encourages him to play the Hippodrome, so that working-class audiences can see him. Sol explains that many immigrants cannot attend the higher class theaters because of advertisements only in English, advance sales requiring extra trips to buy tickets and embarrassment over their shabby clothes. Ysaye asserts that he would be honored to play for "the Hurok audience" if Sol will handle the booking. Following Ysaye's great success, Sol presents many artists at the Hippodrome, including Luisa Tetrazzini, Isadora Duncan, Ernestine Schumann-Heink and Gregory's debut. When the U.S. enters World War I, Sol entertains the troops by presenting shows at American training camps. While in Russia, Chaliapin finally responds to Sol's letters after his hotel room is bombed. At a party celebrating the Armistice, Sol announces that he and Emma will finally take their postponed honeymoon, but a call from the U.S. Immigration office relaying Chaliapin's arrival makes Emma realize that their vacation will be delayed again. Sol convinces Chaliapin to sign a ten-year contract with him and soon rehearsals begin for a production of Faust , although Chaliapin's extravagance angers Golder, now in charge of financing. After critics hail Chaliapin's success, Pavlova wires Sol, requesting that he manage her next tour, and although Golder advises Sol to wait until the opera tour is concluded, Sol insists on creating a dance company for Pavlova. The ballerina tours the country, but despite the standing-room-only crowds, the company loses money. In San Francisco, Emma, realizing that Sol has forgotten their wedding anniversary, bitterly decries his devotion to the artists who greedily demand his time. After presenting Pavlova with a jewelled swan pin and watching her performance, Sol returns to the hotel to discover that Emma has left him. Distraught, Sol refuses to come to Chaliapin's aid when the singer calls with laryngitis, and tells him that he has lost something more important than Chaliapin's voice. After searching in vain for Emma, Sol returns to the opera company in Philadelphia, where they face bankruptcy as they prepare for their grand New York opening. Signore Gritti, a rival impresario, offers to purchase Chaliapin's contract, and the ungrateful Chaliapin urges Sol to accept, even though it will leave the rest of the company unemployed. Soon after, the company has been dismantled, and Emma, who has heard the news, returns to Sol. The reunited couple is visited by Chaliapin, who attempts to blame the bankruptcy on Sol. Emma chastises the singer, who admits that he did not sign with Gritti due to the impresario's lack of taste. Giving Sol a satchel of money, Chaliapin praises his friendship and management skills, and allows Sol the honor of calling him "Feodor" just once. The rejuvenated opera company then puts on a successful season at popular prices, and at long last, Sol and Emma plan their honeymoon. As they ride in a horse-drawn carriage, however, they hear the driver's beautiful singing voice, and Emma instructs Sol to do something about it. Gratified, Sol replies, "Mrs. Hurok, I love you."
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 12 Feb 1953|
|Release Date:||1953||Production Date:||
35mm; loaner #4176
|Color/B&W:||Color (Technicolor)||Distributions Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
|Duration(mins):||109 or 113||Country:||United States|
Leonard Maltin Ratings & Review
LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE RATING
LEONARD MALTIN MOVIE REVIEW:
User Ratings & Review
This title has not been reviewed. Be the FIRST to write a review by CLICKING HERE >
User Ratings & Review
Tonight We Sing, I miss it
Edwin J Kindred 2012-01-29
I saw it as a teenager in the 50s and was thrilled by singing from Boris Godunov and the playing by Isaac Stern, The ballet didn't thrill me too much...
This is the best movie Pinza made and it is a travesty that it has never veen issued on DVD, a situation TCM should rectify immediately. Not only is the...
Top Musical Light classical
I saw this movie when it was first screened in the 50's; and although everyone I talked to had never even heard of it, it has always remained one of...