7.1/10
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Rhapsody in Blue (1945)

George Gershwin is a driven composer whose need to succeed destroys his relationship with singer Julie Adams and socialite Christine Gilbert.

Director:

Irving Rapper

Writers:

Sonya Levien (original story), Howard Koch (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Alda ... George Gershwin
Joan Leslie ... Julie Adams
Alexis Smith ... Christine Gilbert
Charles Coburn ... Max Dreyfus
Julie Bishop ... Lee Gershwin
Albert Bassermann ... Prof. Franck
Morris Carnovsky ... Morris Gershwin
Rosemary DeCamp ... Rose Gershwin
Oscar Levant ... Oscar Levant
Paul Whiteman ... Paul Whiteman
Al Jolson ... Al Jolson
George White ... George White
Hazel Scott Hazel Scott ... Hazel Scott
Anne Brown Anne Brown ... Bess
Herbert Rudley ... Ira Gershwin
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Storyline

Composer George Gershwin is driven by his need to succeed. Unfortunately his drive destroys his romantic relationships with singer Julie Adams, who is desperately in love with him, and aloof socialite Christine Gilbert. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The jubilant story of George Gershwin. See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rapsodia en azul See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (with overture)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gershwin's tumor was diagnosed as glioblastoma multiforme at the time, but as he complained of "smelling rubber" date back to 1934, most specialists today agree that he actually suffered from pilocytic astrocytoma, which would have caused that symptom so early. See more »

Goofs

In Max Dreyfus' office, Oscar Levant while looking at Georges' score of "Swanee" hums a perfect forth (D down to A) and says, "A diminished 9th." In the next scene Max Dreyfus also refers to the uniqueness of a diminished 9th. In Swanee there is no diminished 9th. There are enharmonic equivalents ie. a C# melody against a Db bass which sounds like a diminished 9th. It is acually a sharped major 7th. The interval of a diminished 9th ie. (C up to Dbb or C# up to Db)does not happen in Swanee. Both a diminished 9th and an enharmonic equivalent will sound like a perfect octave when played eight notes apart. See more »

Quotes

George Gershwin: I see you've learned to play with both hands.
Oscar Levant: I took the liberty of recording our rhapsody.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Get a Life: The Big City (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Cuban Overture
(uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Played by orchestra conducted onscreen by Robert Alda, and offscreen by Leo F. Forbstein
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An American original
2 January 2006 | by jotix100See all my reviews

George Gershwin was perhaps, America's greatest composer. Judging by his output of popular songs, as well as some of the serious music he left behind. George Gershwin was a man that got his inspiration by a lot of the popular and black music he heard when he was growing up and mixed it with some of the classical music that he learned as a young piano student. The result is a body of work that is not easy equaled by any of his contemporaries.

In "Rhapsody in Blue", his biographical picture, director Irving Rapper has recreated that period in the young composer's life with the help of the screen play writers, Howard Koch, Sonya Levien, and the uncredited Clifford Odets, as he takes us along to witness a account on this original music man.

We get to see the ambitious George, who could play anything on the piano his parents intended for his brother Ira to study music. It was clear from the start George was a natural who had no problem composing some of the best melodies that became standards during the 20th century and continue to delight us after so many years.

Along the way there is the story of the man who falls in love with the lovely and sophisticated Christine Gilbert, who he met in France. Julie Adams, the girl who was to become the star in many of his shows, loved George in silence. Of course, these two women are a product of the writers imagination, or a composite for the real women in his life.

We are also shown the world in which George lived. There is Prof. Frank, who taught the young man the best of the classical piano repertoire. His parents, Morris and Rose, who adored their sons. We also meet some of the men that shaped his life like Max Dreyfus, his manager, Oscar Levant, his friend and best interpreter, along with some real figures like Paul Whiteman, George White, Al Jolson, Hazel Scott, among others.

Robert Alda resembled the real George Gershwin; his take on the man rings true. Joan Leslie is Julie Adams, and Alexis Smith is Christine Gilbert, the women in George life. Charles Coburn plays Max Dreyfus. Morris Carnovsky and Rosemary DeCamp are seen as the parents.

The best excuse to watch the film is the glorious music one hears in it. The movie is easy on the eye, and while it might not be accurate, it still makes for a pleasant view of this genius of some of the best American popular music of all times.


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