Eleanor Parker and Glenn Ford star in INTERRUPTED MELODY, directed by Curtis Bernhardt for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Interrupted Melody (1955, Curtis Bernhardt)

Interrupted Melody is an interesting example of economic storytelling. The film covers about ten years, has a number of strong character relationships, but moves gently through all of it. It’s got moments where there isn’t any dialogue, just the look between characters, it’s got a great love story–and, even better, a great struggling marriage. Director Bernhardt deserves a lot of the credit–for example, he knows just how long to let these scenes go and the first date between Eleanor Parker and Glenn Ford does better in five minutes what most films–most good films–spend twenty doing. It’s not just Bernhardt though. Interrupted Melody was co-written by Sonya Levien, who also worked on The Cowboy and the Lady and it had similarly perfect pacing.

Most of Interrupted Melody is a showcase for its actors, whether it’s Parker or Ford or even a young (and good-looking) Roger Moore. The film’s structure varies in focus–for instance, there’s a large part where Ford is the protagonist over Parker–but manages the transitions back and forth beautifully. So beautifully, in fact, I don’t even recall the first transition. The second, later one, I still do….

Besides being Parker’s best performance (probably, at least in the lead), Interrupted Melody has a great Glenn Ford performance. Ford never gets the proper respect–search for him on IMDb and the first title to come up is Superman, but he’s really good, especially in this, mid-1950s period of his career. Melody‘s not out on DVD, but it does run occasionally on TCM. TCM has their wonderful database, which allows you to vote for films for Warner Bros. to release on DVD. Like Interrupted Melody, for example.

4/4★★★★

CREDITS

Directed by Curtis Bernhardt; written by William Ludwig and Sonya Levien; directors of photography, Joseph Ruttenberg and Paul Vogel; edited by John D. Dunning; produced by Jack Cummings; released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Starring Glenn Ford (Dr. Thomas King), Eleanor Parker (Marjorie Lawrence), Roger Moore (Cyril Lawrence), Cecil Kellaway (Bill Lawrence), Peter Leeds (Dr. Ed Ryson), Evelyn Ellis (Clara), Walter Baldwin (Jim Owens), Ann Codee (Madame Gilly), Leopold Sachse (Himself) and Stephen Bekassy (Count Claude des Vignaux).


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One thought on “Interrupted Melody (1955, Curtis Bernhardt)”

  1. Even though Glenn Ford was great in the movie..Dr. Tom King was an even greater person than the movie could hint at.

    I grew up knowing him from their retired life in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was one of those rare individuals that I don’t think anyone could ever speak an ill word about..ever. His love and devotion to Marjorie was selfless. He was without a doubt one of the kindest, quietly strong and most charismatic men I’ve ever seen. When he walked into a room, his smile immeidately transformed it. Just a genuine good soul that this earth was blessed to have and Marjorie was exceedingly blessed to have at her side. Marjorie was a friendly enough person but I just took to him and his geniune sweetness of character so easily. As a child he was the first person I ever knew to ” idolize” and Iguess I never got over that. I would wish he was my grandfather or my uncle sometimes. Tom was desolate after her passing until it was his time. If there is a heaven and loved ones reunite..I’m sure they’re waltzing away
    Just discovered this by Googling and hope you don’t mind my reminiscence.

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