Interrupted Melody (1955): Bernhardt’s Inspirational Biopic of Singer Marjorie Lawrence Starring Eleanor Parker

In Interrupted Melody, a rather conventional and inspirational biopic, Eleanor Parker plays the famous Australian soprano Marjorie Lawrence.

William Ludwig and Sonya Levien shared an Oscar Award for their adaptation of Marjorie Lawrence’s autobiography.

Parker’s singing, ranging from Madame Butterfly to MGM’s own Over the Rainbow, were dubbed by Eileen Farrell, future soprano of the Metropolitan Opera. Farrell makes a cameo in the film as a voice student.

The story traces Marjorie’s long, hard road to the top, her international success, and her turbulent marriage to American doctor Thomas King.

While touring South America, Lawrence is stricken with polio, which abruptly ends her career and sends her into deep depression.

The film is devoted to Ms. Lawrence’s emergence from depression and her triumphant comeback, assisted by a good doctor (Glenn Ford).

The cast includes the young Roger Moore, the vet Cecil Kellaway, and the newcomer Stuart Whitman (Oscar nominee for The Mark).

This was the third and last Best Actress nomination of Eleanor Parker, who’s now best known as the rejected countess in The Sound of Music.

Oscar Nominations: 3

Story and Screenplay: William Ludwig and Sonya Levien

Actress: Eleanor Parker

Costume Design (color): Helen Rose

Oscar Awards: 1

Story and Screenplay

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Best Actress was Anna Magnani for “The Rose Tattoo.”

Charles LeMaire received the Costume Design Oscar for “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing.
Credits:

Directed by Curtis Bernhardt

Written by William Ludwig, Sonya Levien

Released: March 25, 1955

DVD: July 20, 1994