The Great Victor Herbert


1h 24m 1939

Film Details

Also Known As
The Gay Days of Victor Herbert, The Life and Melodies of Victor Herbert, The Life of Victor Herbert, Victor Herbert
Release Date
Dec 29, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 7 Dec 1939
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,199ft (10 reels)

Synopsis

Louise Hall, a choir girl from the small town of Riverford, foresakes her boyfriend, a country doctor, to make her name as a singer in New York. There she meets John Ramsey, star of the Victor Herbert operas. John is so smitten with Louise that he promotes her career, finally making her a star of such magnitude that she eclipses his own. Louise's rise creates a strain on their love, forcing her to give up the stage in order to save her marriage. Soon after, their daughter Peggy is born, but their relation remains tenuous as fatherhood cools the ardor of John's female fans and, finding himself relegated to small parts, he begins to blame Louise for his loss of popularity. Louise finally leaves John and takes Peggy to Switzerland, but there learns of his further decline as an actor and returns to New York. Louise finds John destitute and begins to give singing lessons to support the family. Humiliated, John leaves Louise, who then agrees to perform in a reprise of one of her operettas. However, on opening night, Louise, preoccupied with the dissolution of her marriage, is unable to sing and Peggy takes her place. She performs miserably until John coaches her on stage, imbuing her with a confidence that catapults her to stardom.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Gay Days of Victor Herbert, The Life and Melodies of Victor Herbert, The Life of Victor Herbert, Victor Herbert
Release Date
Dec 29, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 7 Dec 1939
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8,199ft (10 reels)

Award Nominations

Best Cinematography

1940

Best Score

1939

Best Sound

1939

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were The Gay Days of Victor Herbert, The Life of Victor Herbert, Victor Herbert and The Life and Melodies of Victor Herbert. Before the credits begin to role, the film opens with a sequence of Victor Herbert entering a concert hall and picking up his baton to conduct the orchestra. According to a news item in Daily Variety, the film was originally to have been produced Paramount in 1936 as The Life and Melodies of Victor Herbert. Edward Arnold was to have played the composer and Melvyn Douglas, Fred MacMurray and Clark Gable were considered for the male lead and Irene Dunne for the female lead. Although the 1936 screenplay, written by Gilbert Gabriel, focused on the composer's middle years, producer Howard Estabrook ordered the script rewritten to include Herbert's early years. A news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that the revived project was shelved in late 1938 because of story conflicts. This was Broadway musical comedy star Mary Martin's first major role in a motion picture. The picture received Academy Award nominations in the Music (Scoring) and Sound Recording categories.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1939

Released in United States 1939