Song of Surrender (1949)

93 mins | Romance | 28 October 1949

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HISTORY

The film's working titles were Abigail, Dear Heart , Now and Forever , and The Sin of Abby Hunt . The onscreen credits acknowledge Enrico Caruso's RCA Victor Recordings of the following arias: "Una furtiva lagrima," "O Paradiso," "O sole mio," and "La donna è mobile." The credits also acknowledge "Serenade" by Shubert sung by Richard Tucker of the Metropolitan Opera Company." Both Caruso's and Tucker's voices are heard as gramophones are played in the story. The film marked John Beal's return to the screen after a three-year stint in the Army Air Forces and a season on ... More Less

The film's working titles were Abigail, Dear Heart , Now and Forever , and The Sin of Abby Hunt . The onscreen credits acknowledge Enrico Caruso's RCA Victor Recordings of the following arias: "Una furtiva lagrima," "O Paradiso," "O sole mio," and "La donna è mobile." The credits also acknowledge "Serenade" by Shubert sung by Richard Tucker of the Metropolitan Opera Company." Both Caruso's and Tucker's voices are heard as gramophones are played in the story. The film marked John Beal's return to the screen after a three-year stint in the Army Air Forces and a season on Broadway. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 Sep 1949.
---
Daily Variety
12 Sep 49
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Sep 49
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jan 48
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jan 48
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 48
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 49
pp. 3-4.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Sep 49
p. 18.
Variety
14 Sep 49
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Mitchell Leisen Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dance seq
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst prod mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"Song of Surrender," music by Victor Young, lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
"Serenade," music and lyrics by Franz Schubert
"Una furtiva lagrima" from the opera L'elisir d'amore , music by Gaetano Donizetti, libretto by Felice Romani
+
SONGS
"Song of Surrender," music by Victor Young, lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
"Serenade," music and lyrics by Franz Schubert
"Una furtiva lagrima" from the opera L'elisir d'amore , music by Gaetano Donizetti, libretto by Felice Romani
"O Paradiso" from the opera L' Africaine , music by Giacomo Meyerbeer, libretto by Eugène Scribe
"O sole mio," music by Edoardo di Capua, lyrics by Giovanni Capurro
"La donna è mobile," from the opera Rigoletto , music by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Francesco Maria Piave.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Now and Forever
Abigail, Dear Heart
Release Date:
28 October 1949
Production Date:
mid January--late February 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 October 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2600
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12942
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In 1906, in a small New England town, Abby, the young wife of a middle-aged, Puritanical Civil War historian and museum curator, Elisha Hunt, meets New York lawyer Bruce Eldridge. Bruce is engaged to a beautiful, wealthy widow named Phyllis Cantwell, who has recently bought a house up the hill from the Hunts. Although he used to be an ambitious political statesmen, Bruce has abandoned his aspirations and become a playboy among Phyllis' upper-class social set. While Elisha is away giving a lecture, Abby attends a local auction at the Abernathys' and makes a modest bid on a chair for Elisha, but is outbid by Phyllis. When the townspeople are too afraid to bid on a grammophone because they think it is an instrument of the Devil, Abby buys it in defiance of Phyllis' snobbish friends. With the grammophone are recordings of arias sung by world-class tenor Enrico Caruso, which Abby listens to over and over again, falling in love with the music. When Elisha comes home and finds Abby dreamy-eyed over the music, having burned her bread, he tells her that Abernathy hanged himself after the auction, and forbids her to keep the grammophone. She gives it to a friendly grocer named Mr. Willis, and while Elisha is away, she plays it night after night on a nearby hilltop. One night, Bruce, hearing the music, visits her, and they fall in love. Bruce dresses Abby up and takes her out for an evening of music and dancing, after which they enjoy an innocent kiss. After Elisha returns home, village deacon Parry tells him that a shameless heathen has been singing in ... +


In 1906, in a small New England town, Abby, the young wife of a middle-aged, Puritanical Civil War historian and museum curator, Elisha Hunt, meets New York lawyer Bruce Eldridge. Bruce is engaged to a beautiful, wealthy widow named Phyllis Cantwell, who has recently bought a house up the hill from the Hunts. Although he used to be an ambitious political statesmen, Bruce has abandoned his aspirations and become a playboy among Phyllis' upper-class social set. While Elisha is away giving a lecture, Abby attends a local auction at the Abernathys' and makes a modest bid on a chair for Elisha, but is outbid by Phyllis. When the townspeople are too afraid to bid on a grammophone because they think it is an instrument of the Devil, Abby buys it in defiance of Phyllis' snobbish friends. With the grammophone are recordings of arias sung by world-class tenor Enrico Caruso, which Abby listens to over and over again, falling in love with the music. When Elisha comes home and finds Abby dreamy-eyed over the music, having burned her bread, he tells her that Abernathy hanged himself after the auction, and forbids her to keep the grammophone. She gives it to a friendly grocer named Mr. Willis, and while Elisha is away, she plays it night after night on a nearby hilltop. One night, Bruce, hearing the music, visits her, and they fall in love. Bruce dresses Abby up and takes her out for an evening of music and dancing, after which they enjoy an innocent kiss. After Elisha returns home, village deacon Parry tells him that a shameless heathen has been singing in the valley day and night, provoking Elisha to accuse Abby of disobeying him. He is about to destroy the grammophone with an axe when Abby breaks into tears, begging him to let her have her music, but not telling him that it represents her only link to Bruce. In the following weeks, Abby becomes increasingly distant from Elisha. When she receives a Caruso record album from Bruce in the mail, Elisha confronts her, and she admits she spent an innocent evening with Bruce, and that the music has changed her. Elisha angrily smashes the album and, at Sunday morning church service, publicly denounces Abby as an adulterer. She defends herself and runs from the church, then takes a train to New York to see Bruce. Upon Abby's arrival, Bruce finally breaks his engagement with Phyllis, and accompanies Abby back home to settle things with her husband. They find Elisha in a stupor, listening to the grammophone and calling for Abby over and over. Abby dutifully says goodbye to Bruce in order to take care of Elisha. Eventually, Elisha's delirium breaks, and he apologizes to Abby. One winter day, while Abby reads a letter from Bruce announcing his victory in a state senate race, Elisha dies. Later, as Abby dusts Elisha's war museum pieces, she hears music coming from the hill, and rushes to find Bruce waiting for her. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.