"Once more, with feeling" is a musical expression usually shouted by conductors after the orchestra has failed to bring bravura to their rehearsal. This was Kay Kendall's last luminous moment on the screen; she died less than 90 days after the picture finished shooting, although you'd never
know whe was suffering from leukemia by the way she darted around the sets, delivering the crackling dialog with elan. Kendall plays the longtime mate of Brynner, an insufferable, temperamental, but talented conductor of the London Symphony given to breaking batons and puncturing personalities
with his saber-sharp tongue. Kendall spends most of her time soothing bruised egos and repairing torn pride. Because she adores Brynner, she tolerates all of his often-childish behavior. The only thing she will not allow is his trifling with another woman. And when Brynner takes the opportunity to
dally with Field, a hot-blooded and determined young pianist, Kendall storms out of the relationship and remains out, despite Brynner's constant attempts to win her back. Immediately, his life begins to come apart at the seams. To make sure that Brynner's contract is renewed, the conductor and his
agent, Ratoff, tell the bosses at the symphony that Kendall is returning to Brynner. The truth is that Kendall has taken up with Toone, a physicist, and is planning to marry him. She returns to Brynner's side only to arrange for a divorce, but while she's there, she manages to persuade his bosses
to renew his contract anyway. At this point, Brynner reminds Kendall that they were never married in the first place; if she wants a divorce, she'll have to marry him first. The marriage takes place and the expected happens as the two fall in love again.
Adapting his own play, screenwriter Kurnitz switched the setting from New York to Europe to accommodate the accents of the leads. Great fun, scintillating dialog, and plenty of good music from Sousa, Wagner, Liszt, Beethoven, and many others make this a most enjoyable film.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: "Once more, with feeling" is a musical expression usually shouted by conductors after the orchestra has failed to bring bravura to their rehearsal. This was Kay Kendall's last luminous moment on the screen; she died less than 90 days after the picture fini… (more)