Humoresque

"Very Good"

Humoresque Review


Joan Crawford in a wacky comedy? With a name like Humoresque you might be expecting something lighthearted and fun. But no: The title refers to a Dvorak symphony, and Humoresque is anything but funny.

John Garfield was a wildly popular actor in his day, and this is regarded as one of his best performances, if not the very top. The story is one of obsession: Garfield's Paul Boray is an ambitious violin player who's quickly rising to the top of his profession. Crawford is Helen Wright, who's smitten with him and funds his life's work. But Boray doesn't have room in his life for two loves, so Wright gets the perpetual cold shoulder. Her last moments of screen time are as haunting as they are inevitable.

Humoresque is remembered largely for its sublime ability to make Garfield look like a virtuoso violinist. This effect was achieved by dollying in when Garfield plays the instrument, then having two "stunt" players do the playing. One violinist worked the strings, one the bow. With Garfield's head still in the shot, the effect is seamless, and it's miles away from those lame movies about pianists where you never see the actual actor hitting the keys.

In the end, of course, this is a story about two sad and lonely people who don't realize the power of their obsessions and the futility of their causes. It's a haunting -- and quite depressing -- work. And though Crawford doesn't make a terribly great impression, Garfield's enough on his own to merit your complete attention.



Humoresque

Facts and Figures

Run time: 125 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 25th December 1946

Distributed by: Warner Home Video

Production compaines: Warner Bros.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jean Negulesco

Producer:

Starring: as Mrs. Helen Wright, as Paul Boray, as Sid Jeffers, J. Carrol Naish as Papa Rudy Boray, as Gina Romney, Tom D'Andrea as Phil Boray, Peggy Knudsen as Florence Boray, as Mama Esther Boray, Craig Stevens as Monte Loeffler, Paul Cavanagh as Mr. Victor Wright, Richard Gaines as Bauer - Paul's 1st producer, John Abbott as Rozner - conducts Nat.Inst.Orch., as Paul Boray - child (as Bobby Blake), Tommy Cook as Phil Boray - child, as Teddy #2 - Prop. of Teddy's Bar, Harlan Briggs as Mr. Jeffers, Bess Flowers as Party Guest / Concert Attendee

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