New Wine (1941)

82 or 84 mins | Biography | 8 August 1941

Director:

Reinhold Schunzel

Producer:

William Sekely

Cinematographer:

John Mescall

Editor:

James Smith

Production Designer:

Erno Metzner

Production Company:

Gloria Film Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The viewed print bore the title The Melody Master , which may have been either a re-release or television release title. The film contains a contemporary frame story which opens with a man and a woman, both of whom have been stood up by their dates, meeting at a concert featuring Framz Schubert's music. In the closing sequence, the woman has tears in her eyes as the orchestra and chorus perform the "Ave Maria," and the man informs her that Schubert died at age thirty-one, poor and unrecognized. They agree to meet in the future to talk more about the great composer's works. The main story as presented, bears little resemblance to what is known about the life of Franz Schubert (1797--1828) and, apart from Ludwig van Beethoven, all of the other characters are fictional. A number of romantic stories have been inspired by Schubert's famous Unfinished Symphony , written in 1822 and containing only two movements, but most scholars believe that he either forgot about it, or abandoned the work due to a lack of inspiration.
       According to a LAT article dated 29 Oct 1940, Burgess Meredith was slated first to play Schubert, while HR reported that as late as 7 Jan 1941, one week before the start of production, the producers hoped to sign Leslie Howard for the role. A 10 Jan 1941 HR news item indicates that New York fashion model Elsa Deaner was tested for a role, but her appearance in the film has not been confirmed. News items published in HR , DV and LAT a ... More Less

The viewed print bore the title The Melody Master , which may have been either a re-release or television release title. The film contains a contemporary frame story which opens with a man and a woman, both of whom have been stood up by their dates, meeting at a concert featuring Framz Schubert's music. In the closing sequence, the woman has tears in her eyes as the orchestra and chorus perform the "Ave Maria," and the man informs her that Schubert died at age thirty-one, poor and unrecognized. They agree to meet in the future to talk more about the great composer's works. The main story as presented, bears little resemblance to what is known about the life of Franz Schubert (1797--1828) and, apart from Ludwig van Beethoven, all of the other characters are fictional. A number of romantic stories have been inspired by Schubert's famous Unfinished Symphony , written in 1822 and containing only two movements, but most scholars believe that he either forgot about it, or abandoned the work due to a lack of inspiration.
       According to a LAT article dated 29 Oct 1940, Burgess Meredith was slated first to play Schubert, while HR reported that as late as 7 Jan 1941, one week before the start of production, the producers hoped to sign Leslie Howard for the role. A 10 Jan 1941 HR news item indicates that New York fashion model Elsa Deaner was tested for a role, but her appearance in the film has not been confirmed. News items published in HR , DV and LAT a few months prior to the start of filming indicate that Ladislaus Bus-Fekete was writing an original script for New Wine ; however, he is not credited onscreen and the extent of his contribution to the finished film has not been determined. Some exteriors were shot on location at the Guasti vineyards in Colton, CA. A radio adaptation of New Wine was performed on the Columbia Radio Network's Screen Guild Players program in Jun 1945, with Massey reprising the role of "Anna" and Paul Henried playing Schubert. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Aug 1941.
---
Daily Variety
18 Dec 1940.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jul 1941.
---
Film Daily
31 Jul 1941. p. 6.
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Aug 1940.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jan 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jan 41
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 41
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jan 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 41
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Feb 41
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jun 45
p. 4.
Los Angeles Times
5 Aug 1940.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Oct 1940.
---
Motion Picture Daily
31 Jul 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald
2 Aug 1941.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Jun 41
p. 157.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
6 Sep 41
p. 248.
New York Times
2 Feb 41
p. 11.
The Exhibitor
3 Sep 1941.
---
Variety
30 Jul 41
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
MUSIC
Symphony no. 7 in E Major, Symphony no. 5 in B flat Major, Symphony no. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished Symphony"), Rosamunde Ballet and "Landler Waltz" by Franz Schubert.
SONGS
"To Loyal Hearts," music by Franz Schubert, lyrics by William Kernell
"Schubert's Serenade" and "Schubert's Ungeduld (Impatience)," music by Franz Schubert, lyrics by Anthony Dare Stuart
"Ave Maria," music by Franz Schubert, lyrics based on a German translation by P. Adam Storck of Sir Walter Scott's poem "The Lady of the Lake."
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Melody Master
Release Date:
8 August 1941
Production Date:
14 January--17 February 1941 at General Service Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Gloria Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
16 July 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10598
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
82 or 84
Length(in feet):
7,540
Country:
United States
PCA No:
7145
SYNOPSIS

In Vienna, circa 1820, Franz Schubert, an aspiring composer, is forced to resign his position as a mathematics professor because of his unconventional teaching methods. Later that evening, soldiers arrive at the local tavern with orders to escort the unemployed Franz and his bohemian friends to the barracks for mandatory conscription in the Emperor's army. A brawl breaks out and, with the help of his kindly landlord and friend Poldi, Franz manages to escape across the border into Hungary. Destitute and hungry, Franz seeks employment on a large country estate and is hired as a sheepshearer. While wrestling with a recalcitrant animal, Franz encounters a proud young Hungarian woman named Anna who, unknown to him, is the manager of the estate. Franz is fired for incompetence on his first day, but Anna, feeling sorry for him, gives him room and board for the night. That evening, Franz charms Anna with his skill on the piano and, before leaving the following morning, offers her one of his own songs as a parting gift. Impressed by Franz's talent, Anna finds him work on the estate as a bookkeeper. Soon after, the owner of the estate, a vain and simpering countess, orders Anna to begin preparations for a sumptuous ball in honor of the Archduke's imminent visit. The duke, an amateur composer, gives the countess his latest piano opus, and Anna encourages Franz to perform the piece at the ball as a means of attracting a wealthy patron. At the ball, Franz attempts to play the duke's halting composition, but it proves to be so awful that he is soon improvising with his own music. ... +


In Vienna, circa 1820, Franz Schubert, an aspiring composer, is forced to resign his position as a mathematics professor because of his unconventional teaching methods. Later that evening, soldiers arrive at the local tavern with orders to escort the unemployed Franz and his bohemian friends to the barracks for mandatory conscription in the Emperor's army. A brawl breaks out and, with the help of his kindly landlord and friend Poldi, Franz manages to escape across the border into Hungary. Destitute and hungry, Franz seeks employment on a large country estate and is hired as a sheepshearer. While wrestling with a recalcitrant animal, Franz encounters a proud young Hungarian woman named Anna who, unknown to him, is the manager of the estate. Franz is fired for incompetence on his first day, but Anna, feeling sorry for him, gives him room and board for the night. That evening, Franz charms Anna with his skill on the piano and, before leaving the following morning, offers her one of his own songs as a parting gift. Impressed by Franz's talent, Anna finds him work on the estate as a bookkeeper. Soon after, the owner of the estate, a vain and simpering countess, orders Anna to begin preparations for a sumptuous ball in honor of the Archduke's imminent visit. The duke, an amateur composer, gives the countess his latest piano opus, and Anna encourages Franz to perform the piece at the ball as a means of attracting a wealthy patron. At the ball, Franz attempts to play the duke's halting composition, but it proves to be so awful that he is soon improvising with his own music. The enraged duke orders Franz to stop, and after Anna steps forward to defend him, denouncing the assembled aristocrats as dilettantes unable to recognize true genius, the countess fires her. The conscription now ended, Franz is free to return to Vienna, and Anna accompanies him. Taking up lodgings at Poldi's, Franz devotes his time to composing, while Anna tries to interest music publishers in his work. When her efforts are unsuccessful, Anna seeks out the influential and greatly admired Ludwig van Beethoven for help. Describing Franz's music as "new wine," Anna eventually convinces the stubborn Beethoven, who is distrustful of inexperience and youth, to take a look at Franz's latest symphony. As he pours over the sheets on which Franz has scribbled the symphony, Beethoven hears the music in his head and is overcome by its beauty. Proclaiming Franz a genius, Beethoven promises to help, but advises Anna to say nothing of their visit until Franz has completed the symphony. When Franz declares his intention to return to teaching, Anna implores him to wait until he has finished the piece, asking him to present it to her as a gift for her upcoming birthday. A month passes, and when her birthday finally arrives, Anna excitedly anticipates Franz's gift, but Franz greets her instead with word of Beethoven's death, and is unable to comprehend the depth of Anna's grief over the news. To add to her despair, when Anna opens her gift, she finds not the symphony, but a neatly tied bundle of money that Franz has earned after secretly returning to teaching. Declaring that his symphony shall remain unfinished, Franz informs Anna that he has decided to quit "chasing rainbows" so that he can marry her and support a family. That evening, Anna sets off alone for Hungary, leaving behind a letter in which she tells Franz that he must not give up his dream on her account, for he would end up despising her. Gazing at an engraving of the Virgin Mary, Franz remembers that Anna once described his music as a "window to another world," and he then sits down to compose the "Ave Maria." +

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.