Rhapsody (1954): Charles Vidor’s Romantic Melodrama, Starring Elizabeth Taylor and Vittorio Gassman

Charles Vidor directed the musical drama Rhapsody, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Vittorio Gassman, John Ericson, and Louis Calhern.

Based on the 1908 novel Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson, the film is structured as a romantic triangle.

Taylor plays a wealthy, beautiful woman who follows the man she loves where he studies violin at a conservatory. While there, she meets a piano student who falls madly in love with her. She must then choose between this man who loves her more than his music, and the violinist who loves his music more than anything else.

Rhapsody features music by Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninov, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Felix Mendelssohn, Claude Debussy, and Pablo de Sarasate.

Moderately successful at the box-office, the movie was a step in the right direction in Elizabeth Taylor’s ascent to major stardom.

Elizabeth Taylor as Louise Durant
Vittorio Gassman as Paul Bronte
John Ericson as James Guest
Louis Calhern as Nicholas Durant
Michael Chekhov as Prof. Schuman
Barbara Bates as Effie Cahill
Richard Hageman as Bruno Fürst
Richard Lupino as Otto Krafft
Celia Lovsky as Frau Sigerlist
Stuart Whitman as Dove
Madge Blake as Mrs. Cahill
Jack Raine as Edmund Streller
Birgit Nielsen as Madeleine
Jacqueline Duval as Yvonne


Directed by Charles Vidor
Produced by Lawrence Weingarten
Written by Ruth Goetz, Augustus Goetz, Fay Kanin, Michael Kanin, based on
Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson
Music by Bronisław Kaper (adaptor)
Johnny Green (conductor / musical director)
Michael Rabin (violin solos)
Claudio Arrau (piano solos)
Cinematography: Robert H. Planck
Edited by John D. Dunning
Release date: March 11, 1954
Running time: 115 minutes


TCM showed the movie on May 8, 2020