- 2 hr 5 min
Humoresque is a melodramatic film that was released in 1946, directed by Jean Negulesco and based on a novel of the same name by Fanny Hurst. The film stars Joan Crawford, John Garfield, and Oscar Levant and features music by Franz Waxman. The story revolves around a wealthy New York socialite named Helen Wright (Joan Crawford) who becomes infatuated with a young violinist named Paul Boray (John Garfield). Despite the disapproval of her family and friends, Helen supports Paul financially and encourages him to pursue a career as a musician. As his career takes off, the two become involved in a passionate but tumultuous relationship characterized by jealousy, insecurity, and resentment.
Throughout the film, we see Paul struggle with his own demons, including his working-class background and his history of alcoholism. His ambition and desire for success drive him to sacrifice his personal life and relationships, leading to a tragic and dramatic ending.
The film is notable for its use of music, particularly the violin performances by John Garfield, who trained for several months to convincingly play the instrument. The music, composed by Franz Waxman, is a significant part of the film's emotional impact, with the sweeping score adding depth and texture to the characters' relationships and struggles.
Joan Crawford delivers a powerful performance as Helen, a complex and conflicted character whose motivations and desires are sometimes unclear. Her character's journey from selfishness to selflessness is one of the film's most compelling arcs, and Crawford's nuanced acting helps to convey the complexity of her character's emotions.
John Garfield's portrayal of Paul Boray is equally impressive, with the actor conveying both the character's passion for music and his inner turmoil. Garfield's performance is particularly powerful during the film's musical sequences, where his physicality and intensity help to convey the emotion and intensity of the music.
Oscar Levant rounds out the film's main cast as Sid Jeffers, a pianist and friend of Paul's who serves as a kind of comic relief throughout the film. Levant's witty and sarcastic performance helps to punctuate some of the film's more dramatic moments, providing levity and contrast to the emotional intensity of the story.
Overall, Humoresque is a compelling and emotionally charged film, with strong performances from its lead actors and a powerful use of music. While some of its melodramatic elements and outdated attitudes may feel somewhat dated today, it remains a powerful and moving exploration of ambition, love, and sacrifice.
Humoresque is a 1946 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 5 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3.