The Eddy Duchin Story

I stopped to buy a beef burrito before I went home.  I watched “The Eddy Duchin Story,” the story of the pianist who went to New York to seek his fortune.  He was like the Gene Kelly character in the big production number at the end of “Singin’ in the Rain.”  Tyrone Power was Eddy Duchin, who didn’t know how to deal with people, according to the script.  Kim Novak was Marjorie, the woman he meets in the big city.  Kim really looked beautiful, although different from her look in “Vertigo.”  Tyrone Power reportedly didn’t like working with her, but the chemistry on the screen is pretty good.  I thought the movie was sketchy in the way it showed their relationship.  What we know about Marjorie is that the wind frightens her.  Kim appeared in a soda commercial that also promoted this movie, although I’m not old enough to have seen that commercial.  What is a shame is that Kim appears in only the first hour of this movie.  Eddy enlists in the Navy to serve in World War II, and the second half is about Eddy trying to establish a relationship with his son Peter.  The real Peter was unhappy at the liberties the film takes with facts.  These include a date of death and a symptom of an illness.  He was probably disturbed that he as a child was portrayed as being a bit bratty and self-centered.  He was still a little child, immature, so it’s not such an unreasonable interpretation.  One familiar face in the cast is James Whitmore.  Victoria Shaw, the woman who played Chiquita, reminded me in a couple of shots of Jodie Foster, and she spoke in a voice that recalled Audrey Hepburn.  I thought the scene in the park in which Eddy tells his son about his illness was not quite right.  Eddy was really beating around the bush.  The quality of the picture on this DVD was not all that good.  Fans of Kim Novak should wait for another edition to see her at her best.  The movie was a success at the box office in 1956.  I think that it would have been more enjoyable if we’d been given more of Kim Novak and less of Duchin’s unhappiness.  Eddy Duchin apparently had another child named Annette Kalten, whose mother was Millie Giammarino, although the movie doesn’t go anywhere near that territory.  Duchin also lived for another four years after he got married in 1947.  I thought I saw some 1950s cars in the background of one shot.  Director George Sidney would work with Kim Novak again in “Jeanne Eagels” and “Pal Joey,” and go on to direct “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Viva Las Vegas.”  He died in 2002 at age 85.  I heard that the A’s are taking the tarps off the third deck of the Coliseum.  I also heard the sad news that David Letterman’s mother had died at age 95.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 12, Big Joe Turner recorded “Shake, Rattle and Roll” in 1954.  In 1979, “Mad Max” was released in Australia.  In 1989, Garth Brooks’ debut album was released.

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