Song Of Scheherazade

Hollywood Classics Collection

A colourful tale of the inspiration behind some of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s best-loved music from Walter Reisch (Gaslight, Niagara).
This feelgood musical drama tells the story of composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s early career as a Russian Naval Academy cadet – and an imaginary meeting with an exotic dancer who might have inspired one of his great works.

Cat. No: 164476
Barcode: 5019322644767
Run Time: 101 mins
Discs: 1
Cert: PG
Format: DVD
Release Date: 8th August 2016

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It’s 1865, and the young Rimsky-Korsakov (Jean-Pierre Aumont) is a sailor on a two-year world tour with the Russian Navy. When the ship docks in Tangiers, his search for a piano on which to play his latest work brings him into the fold of a family of down-at-heel Spanish aristocrats.

The daughter Cara (Yvonne de Carlo) works secretly as a veiled dancer – with the stage name Scheherazade – in order to support her mother Madame de Talavera (Eve Arden)’s spendthrift habits. Rimsky-Korsakov is captivated by Cara, and her tales from the mysterious East begin to infiltrate his compositions.

As the week’s furlough flies by, young Nikolai’s musical and amorous aspirations come under threat from Brian Donlevy’s severe Captain Vladimir Gregorovitch and dashing shipmate Prince Mischetsky (Phillip Reed) – but a harmonious ending is on the horizon.

Written and directed by Walter Reisch (Ninotchka, Gaslight, Niagara), the film also stars Charles Kullmann, a leading tenor with the Metropolitan Opera, who is smuggled aboard as the ship’s doctor to perform many of Rimsky-Korsakov’s enduring melodies.