Break of Hearts (1935)

78 or 80 mins | Drama | 31 May 1935

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HISTORY

Break of Hearts , which was originally titled The Music Man , was Theatre Guild director Philip Moeller's second and last film and was the second and last time he collaborated on directing with film editor Jane Loring. The film was also the third consecutive film that Katharine Hepburn made with writers Sarah Y. Mason and Victor Heerman. According to an Oct 1933 FD news item, John Cromwell was originally slated to direct Hepburn, Gregory Ratoff and John Barrymore in the picture. Charles Boyer replaced Francis Lederer, who was fired after a few days of filming because of "differences of opinion" with the director, according to HR and RKO production files. DV claimed that Lederer felt that Hepburn was "getting all the breaks in camera angles" and that he was playing "second fiddle." Modern sources state that Lederer, who was recommended for the part by Heerman and Mason after they saw him play a musician in a stage production, infuriated Hepburn because he was "rude" and "slow" to learn his lines and then infuriated assistant director Eddie Killy when he refused to shoot a particular set-up because it showed his "bad" side. Killy and Hepburn took their complaints to studio head J. P. MacDonald, who then fired Lederer, according to modern sources. Lederer had completed only one scene, which was subsequently reshot with Boyer. RKO borrowed Boyer from Walter Wanger's production company.
       According to HR production charts, Inez Palange was a cast member, but her participation in the final film cannot be confirmed. A number of music hall interiors were shot on ... More Less

Break of Hearts , which was originally titled The Music Man , was Theatre Guild director Philip Moeller's second and last film and was the second and last time he collaborated on directing with film editor Jane Loring. The film was also the third consecutive film that Katharine Hepburn made with writers Sarah Y. Mason and Victor Heerman. According to an Oct 1933 FD news item, John Cromwell was originally slated to direct Hepburn, Gregory Ratoff and John Barrymore in the picture. Charles Boyer replaced Francis Lederer, who was fired after a few days of filming because of "differences of opinion" with the director, according to HR and RKO production files. DV claimed that Lederer felt that Hepburn was "getting all the breaks in camera angles" and that he was playing "second fiddle." Modern sources state that Lederer, who was recommended for the part by Heerman and Mason after they saw him play a musician in a stage production, infuriated Hepburn because he was "rude" and "slow" to learn his lines and then infuriated assistant director Eddie Killy when he refused to shoot a particular set-up because it showed his "bad" side. Killy and Hepburn took their complaints to studio head J. P. MacDonald, who then fired Lederer, according to modern sources. Lederer had completed only one scene, which was subsequently reshot with Boyer. RKO borrowed Boyer from Walter Wanger's production company.
       According to HR production charts, Inez Palange was a cast member, but her participation in the final film cannot be confirmed. A number of music hall interiors were shot on location at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, according to production files. Music numbers in the film included excerpts from Antonín Dvorák's Ninth Symphony, From the New World , and Robert Schumann's piano piece "Träumerie" from Kinderscenen . According to FD , Leopold Stokowski, then the conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, wrote music "especially" for the film. However, he is not credited on screen or in reviews. Modern sources also state that Hepburn interviewed musicians in preparation for her role. Modern sources list Jason Robards and Egon Brecher as cast members and credit Mel Berns with makeup. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Feb 35
p. 1.
Daily Variety
10 May 35
p. 3.
Film Daily
2 Oct 33
p. 6.
Film Daily
16 May 35
p. 10.
Film Daily
17 May 35
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jan 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 35
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 35
p. 1, 11
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 35
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald
25 May 35
p. 54.
New York Times
24 Feb 1934.
---
New York Times
17 May 35
p. 24.
Variety
22 May 35
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Pandro S. Berman Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Assoc dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
STAND INS
Stand-in for Katharine Hepburn
Stand-in for Charles Boyer
Stand-in for John Beal
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Music Man
Release Date:
31 May 1935
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 16 May 1935
Production Date:
8 February--25 March 1935
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
31 May 1935
Copyright Number:
LP5646
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
78 or 80
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
801
SYNOPSIS

Brought together by their old music teacher, Professor Thalma, successful playboy orchestra conductor Franz Roberti and struggling composer Constance Dane fall in love and marry. Although Constance knows about Franz's prior love affairs, she is shocked when she runs into her husband and another woman in the Ritz dining room after having overheard the woman discussing Franz with a friend in the powder room. Embarrassed, though innocent, Franz lies to Constance about the situation, which humiliates her to the point of leaving. Under a false name, Constance takes a job auditioning new compositions at a music publishing house, while Franz, too proud to go after his wife, leaves for Europe on a tour. After collapsing with exhaustion at work, Constance is cared for by Franz's old friend, Johnny Lawrence, who has secretly loved her for months. Fresh from Europe, a still mournful Franz accidentally meets Constance at a wild New Year's Eve party and immediately proposes that they reunite. Constance rejects the suggestion, implying that she is now as "experienced" as he in matters of love. Ravaged by jealous melancholy, Franz turns to drink and, after falling off his podium during a benefit concert, is fired from his conducting post. Soon after, Constance travels to Reno for a divorce and is about to marry Johnny when Professor Thalma begs her to see Franz one last time. Finding him haggard and drunk in a cafe, Constance plays the piano piece she had written as a tribute to their love and inspires him for a moment before he collapses. After telling Johnny goodbye, Constance dedicates herself to healing Franz, who soon returns to ... +


Brought together by their old music teacher, Professor Thalma, successful playboy orchestra conductor Franz Roberti and struggling composer Constance Dane fall in love and marry. Although Constance knows about Franz's prior love affairs, she is shocked when she runs into her husband and another woman in the Ritz dining room after having overheard the woman discussing Franz with a friend in the powder room. Embarrassed, though innocent, Franz lies to Constance about the situation, which humiliates her to the point of leaving. Under a false name, Constance takes a job auditioning new compositions at a music publishing house, while Franz, too proud to go after his wife, leaves for Europe on a tour. After collapsing with exhaustion at work, Constance is cared for by Franz's old friend, Johnny Lawrence, who has secretly loved her for months. Fresh from Europe, a still mournful Franz accidentally meets Constance at a wild New Year's Eve party and immediately proposes that they reunite. Constance rejects the suggestion, implying that she is now as "experienced" as he in matters of love. Ravaged by jealous melancholy, Franz turns to drink and, after falling off his podium during a benefit concert, is fired from his conducting post. Soon after, Constance travels to Reno for a divorce and is about to marry Johnny when Professor Thalma begs her to see Franz one last time. Finding him haggard and drunk in a cafe, Constance plays the piano piece she had written as a tribute to their love and inspires him for a moment before he collapses. After telling Johnny goodbye, Constance dedicates herself to healing Franz, who soon returns to his beloved orchestra. +

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.