Beloved


1h 32m 1934

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 22, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 32m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

In his aristocratic castle in Vienna in 1838, Baron Franz Von Hausmann cultivates a love of classical music in his infant son Carl. Ten years later, Carl performs his first composition before an audience as lead violin in a string ensemble. When revolution strikes and his father is killed, Carl and his mother flee to Charleston, South Carolina. Carl becomes enlightened of the music sung by the slaves, which he likens to his first waltz composition. In January, 1861, twenty-three-year-old Carl defends his right to be called a Southern gentleman in a scuffle with the arrogant Wilcox, impressing his friend, Tom Rountree, and a woman he soon learns is named Lucy Tarrant, a prospective piano student of his mother. After Lucy convinces her mother to hire Carl to teach her piano, he falls in love with his student, but Major Tarrant, Lucy's father, refuses the couple permission to marry. During the Civil War, Carl survives a hero, but his mother dies while he is fighting for the Confederacy, and Lucy's father is killed at the Battle of Shiloh. The Tarrants' estate is ruined by the war's end, so Carl and Lucy marry and move to New York, where he gives music lessons and they live in happy poverty. While Carl dreams of creating a musical composition embodying the spirit of America, he runs into Tom, his friend from Charleston, who introduces him to Judge B. T. Belden, a show promoter known for his publicity stunts, whose axiom is "the public loves to be fooled." Belden's exploitation of Carl's violin abilities borders on impropriety, as Carl agrees to personify an eccentric artist with a foreign accent who is popular with the ladies. In the fall of 1867, Carl is enthusiastically received, until Lucy convinces him his reputation as a serious musician is at stake when the press labels him Belden's freakish creation. The couple moves into Mrs. Briggs's boardinghouse, where Carl composes as Lucy supports them. When the nosy proprietress and Miss Murfee scoff at Carl for making his wife support him, he gets a job playing piano at the Duchess Palace Saloon in the Bowery. Meanwhile, the pregnant Lucy is forced to quit work and six months later gives birth to a boy, Charles. Nearly ten years pass, and Carl, now a teacher of piano and violin, is unable to instill his love of music in his son. While working on his "American Symphony," Carl reluctantly agrees to sell some of his songs to an advertising agent, who is interested in using them to promote his patent medicine. Charles grows into a profligate young man and impregnantes Helen Burrows. Learning of the girl's condition from her father, Carl orders his son to marry Helen immediately. In an attempt to reform, Charles enlists to fight in the Spanish-American War, where he dies. Helen dies giving birth to a son, Eric, who, at seven, is "borrowing" his grandfather's waltz and changing it to suit the more modern style. In 1918, Eric, after fighting in World War I, returns home and adapts the themes of Carl's classical Negro spirituals into jazz and publishes the song "My Beloved," which Carl claims he has plagiarized. More songs follow and are made successful in hit stage comedies as sung by Patricia Sedley, whom Eric marries. Informed by Carl that Lucy has had a stroke, Eric grants her last request by playing his grandfather's music the old-fashioned way. Later, Carl visits Eric's publisher, Mr. Yates, who insults the elderly man by saying his music lacks distinction and is a poor imitation of Eric's. Enraged, Carl accuses Eric of stealing his melodies and moves out of Eric's luxurious house into his own small apartment. Alexander Talbot of the Metropolitan Symphony Society, encouraged by a donation from Eric to an unemployed musicians' fund, then offers to feature Carl's symphony in the society's next season. Examining the "American Symphony," Talbot is astounded by its greatness. Eric and Carl are reconciled and attend opening night, where Lucy's ghost smiles as Carl's music is finally performed. As he listens from his box seat, Carl dies, satisfied that his composing genius is at last recognized.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 22, 1934
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 32m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The title card on the viewed print read: "Beloved A Musical Romance." The Daily Variety Los Angeles preview length for this film was 90 minutes, suggesting that at least eight minutes were cut for the final film.