Song o' My Heart (1930)

85 mins | Musical, Drama | 7 September 1930

Director:

Frank Borzage

Writer:

Tom Barry

Cinematographers:

Al Brick, Chester Lyons

Production Designer:

Harry Oliver

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

According to news items and reviews, portions of Song o' My Heart were shot in Ireland, beginning in late Aug 1929. (However, the 4 Jan 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World announced that the production started on 1 Aug 1929, under the title I Hear You Calling Me. ) Exterior scenes were shot in the village of Lusk, near Dublin, as well as on the grounds of Moore Abbey, star John McCormack's estate, near Monasterevin in County Kildare. News items reported that McCormack, director Frank Borzage, writer Tom Barry, actor J. M. Kerrigan and a number of crew members went to Ireland for the production. News items also reported that Irish landscape painter Power O'Malley assisted in the selection of atmospheric locations and that, while on location, the dailies were sent to a laboratory in London to be developed. The film was then sent back to Dublin, where the film was reviewed by Borzage at the Metropole Theatre. After filming in Ireland was completed, the company returned in Nov 1929 to Hollywood, where the production resumed at the Fox Movietone Studios.
       Song o' My Heart marked the first feature film appearance of celebrated Irish-born tenor John McCormack (1884--1945), and the only time that he acted onscreen as a fictional character. McCormack later appeared as himself in Wings of the Morning (1937, see entry), and his voice has been heard on the soundtrack of a number of later films, including Miller's Crossing (1990). According to modern sources, McCormack received the then enormous salary of $500,000 for appearing in Song o' My Heart after more than ... More Less

According to news items and reviews, portions of Song o' My Heart were shot in Ireland, beginning in late Aug 1929. (However, the 4 Jan 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World announced that the production started on 1 Aug 1929, under the title I Hear You Calling Me. ) Exterior scenes were shot in the village of Lusk, near Dublin, as well as on the grounds of Moore Abbey, star John McCormack's estate, near Monasterevin in County Kildare. News items reported that McCormack, director Frank Borzage, writer Tom Barry, actor J. M. Kerrigan and a number of crew members went to Ireland for the production. News items also reported that Irish landscape painter Power O'Malley assisted in the selection of atmospheric locations and that, while on location, the dailies were sent to a laboratory in London to be developed. The film was then sent back to Dublin, where the film was reviewed by Borzage at the Metropole Theatre. After filming in Ireland was completed, the company returned in Nov 1929 to Hollywood, where the production resumed at the Fox Movietone Studios.
       Song o' My Heart marked the first feature film appearance of celebrated Irish-born tenor John McCormack (1884--1945), and the only time that he acted onscreen as a fictional character. McCormack later appeared as himself in Wings of the Morning (1937, see entry), and his voice has been heard on the soundtrack of a number of later films, including Miller's Crossing (1990). According to modern sources, McCormack received the then enormous salary of $500,000 for appearing in Song o' My Heart after more than six months of negotiations with Fox Vice-President Winfield Sheehan . Although McCormack's performance was well received by many critics, Fox did not produce a planned second film starring McCormack.
       Song o' My Heart also marked the motion picture debut of Irish child actor Tom Clifford (1918--1988), as well as Irish actress Maureen O'Sullivan (1911--1998), who were hired while the company was in Ireland, then finished their roles in the U.S. O'Sullivan remained in the U.S., going under contract to M-G-M from the early 1930s through 1942. After being absent from the screen for several years, she continued to act in films, on stage and on television into the 1990s. Perhaps her best-known role was that of "Jane Parker" in M-G-M's "Tarzan" series, in which she co-starred with Johnny Weissmuller from 1932--1942.
       The 15 Feb 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World announced that the picture had been made with the "Foxcolor" film process, and filmed in both 35mm and 70mm Grandeur formats.
       Song o' My Heart premiered at the 44th Street Theatre in New York City on 11 Mar 1930, according to the 15 Mar 1930 Exhibitors Herald-World. John McCormack was in attendance. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
4 Jul 1930
p. 11.
Exhibitors Herald-World
4 Jan 1930
p. 59.
Exhibitors Herald-World
15 Feb 1930
p. 18.
Exhibitors Herald-World
15 Mar 1930
p. 15.
Film Daily
16 Mar 1930.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Jun 1929
p. A9.
Los Angeles Times
9 Nov 1929
p. 124.
Los Angeles Times
16 Mar 1930
p. B13.
Motion Picture News
15 Feb 1930
p. 20.
New York Times
8 May 1929
p. 40.
New York Times
25 Aug 1929
p. X5.
New York Times
12 Mar 1930
p. 32.
Variety
19 Mar 1930
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
Dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
Grandeur cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Feel You Near Me" and "Song O' My Heart," words by Joseph McCarthy, music by James F. Hanley
"I Hear You Calling Me," words and music by Harold Herford and Charles Marshall
"A Pair of Blue Eyes," words and music by William Kernell
+
SONGS
"I Feel You Near Me" and "Song O' My Heart," words by Joseph McCarthy, music by James F. Hanley
"I Hear You Calling Me," words and music by Harold Herford and Charles Marshall
"A Pair of Blue Eyes," words and music by William Kernell
"Paddy, Me Lad," words and music by Albert Hay Malotte
"The Rose of Tralee," "Just for a Day," "Kitty My Love" and "A Fairy Story by the Fireside," words by Charles Glover, music by C. Mordaunt Spencer
"Then You'll Remember Me," words by Alfred Bunn, music by Michael Balfe
"Little Boy Blue," words by Eugene Field, music by Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin
"Luoughi sereni e cari," words by music by Stefano Donaudy
and "Ireland, Mother Ireland," traditional.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
I Hear You Calling Me
Release Date:
7 September 1930
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 11 March 1930 at the 44th Street Theatre
Los Angeles opening: 11 March 1930
Production Date:
began late August 1929 in Ireland
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
11 February 1930
Copyright Number:
LP1136
Physical Properties:
Sound
Movietone
Black and White
gauge
35mm
gauge
70mm Grandeur
Duration(in mins):
85
Length(in feet):
7,740
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

"John McCormack brings his attractive personality and marvelous voice to the screen in a tale full of tender pathos, fine humor delivered in rich brogue, and delightful settings. The outstanding moments in the film are those in which he sings, of course, and his voice loses none of its richness and charm in the recording. The story, laid principally in a lovely little Irish village, is a simple one telling of a talented singer who years before had given up his career when the woman he loves was forced to marry a wealthy man. He finds happiness in being able to help her children when their father deserts them." (National Board of Review Magazine, Apr 1930, p. ... +


"John McCormack brings his attractive personality and marvelous voice to the screen in a tale full of tender pathos, fine humor delivered in rich brogue, and delightful settings. The outstanding moments in the film are those in which he sings, of course, and his voice loses none of its richness and charm in the recording. The story, laid principally in a lovely little Irish village, is a simple one telling of a talented singer who years before had given up his career when the woman he loves was forced to marry a wealthy man. He finds happiness in being able to help her children when their father deserts them." (National Board of Review Magazine, Apr 1930, p. 20) +

GENRE
Genres:


Subject
Subject (Major):

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.