Cast & Crew
Frank R. Strayer
The lifelong ambition of Adolph Grieg, first violinist in New York City's Cosmopolitan Symphony, is realized when he is informed of his promotion to concert master and is offered the chance to play the violin solo of his favorite overture, Offenbach's "Orpheus in Hades." Although Adolph, a widower, is a devoted and loving father, his two grown children, Richard and Paula, treat him shamefully, belittling his profession and constantly demanding money from him. Before Adolph has the opportunity to perform his violin solo, his hand is seriously injured in an accident, and when he returns home with the bad news, Richard reacts with anger, refusing to look for a job in order to help out with expenses. After a dejected Adolph goes to bed, Richard receives a telegram from Paula telling him that she has eloped to Atlantic City to marry Michael Rupert, a wealthy manufacturer several years her senior, and Richard abandons his father in order to join her. Adolph learns from his doctor that he will never again play the violin with his former virtuosity and, abandoned by his children, he is reduced to performing on the street for coins. Although Adolph does not know it, Michael and Paula have a son Carl, who shows signs of an immense talent for music. Paula, however, disapproves of her son's music lessons and fires his violin teacher, saying only that music reminds her of an unhappy time in her life. Adolph is discovered on the street one cold winter night by Mancini, the orchestra manager, and by Rozzini, a trombone player who had been Adolph's best friend in the orchestra. Rozzini takes Adolph in and, at the suggestion of his daughter Carmen, helps Adolph to establish a music school in an empty apartment in his building. Eight years later, the "Adolph Grieg School of Music" is a thriving business, and Carmen and her suitor, saxophone player Herb Livingstone, have come to love Adolph as a father. Adolph is overjoyed when one day Richard shows up on his doorstep, bragging about a new business he is starting. Adolph offers to take him in, but finds out that Richard is involved in illegal activities when two detectives show up and arrest him. In the meantime, the Ruperts' marriage has fallen apart, and Michael asks Paula for a separation, offering her a large cash settlement in exchange for sole custody of Carl. As Michael must leave the country for an extended business trip, he leaves Carl in the care of Mary Schultz, a kindly old nurse, who recognizes Carl's musical talent and arranges for him to take violin lessons. The violin teacher turns out to be Adolph, who has no idea that his promising new pupil is his own grandson. After two years of lessons with Adolph, Carl is an accomplished violinist and Mancini arranges a small, private recital in order to further Carl's career. As Adolph and Carl are leaving the recital, they run into Paula and discover the true nature of their relationship. Their happiness is short-lived, however, when Paula, recognizing a potential source of income in Carl's talent, insists on taking him away to Europe to study. Adolph is heartbroken, and a bitter custody battle is played out between Michael and Paula. After he has heard both sides, the judge allows Carl to choose his guardian and, without hesitation, he points to Adolph. Carl is invited to play the violin solo of "Orpheus in Hades" with the Cosmopolitan Symphony, allowing Adolph to relive his old dream.