DEEP IN MY HEART [1954 / 2015] [Warner Archive Collection] [Blu-ray] [USA Release] 22 Hit Songs from 11 Broadway Shows! M-G-M Picked A Million-Dollar Musical Cast To Tell The Story of the Man Whose Songs Won the Heart of America!

That Kelly lad sure can dance. Fred Kelly that is, in his only credited film role, he and legendary brother Gene Kelly happily hoof with an “l Love to Go Swimmin’ with Wimmen’” specialty romp in this colourful musical biopic about Sigmund Romberg, the ex-piano man who went on to compose some 8O productions. There’s much more to love, too. Ann Miller gams and glams “It” (from The Desert Song). Jane Powell and Vic Damone remember “Will You Remember (Maytime).” José Ferrer as Sigmund Romberg demos all the roles of a gleefuljazza-Doo spree. And before “Deep in My Heart” is sung, danced and jazza-done, you’ll find Cyd Charisse, Merle Oberon, Howard Keel and more. The talent runs deep. So does the fun.

FILM FACT: The costumes in the "It" number were recycled from the "Beautiful Girls" number in ‘Singin' in the Rain’ [1952]. One female dancer is wearing Cyd Charisse's green flapper dress from the "Broadway Melody" Ballet. During the Mr. and Mrs. Number, José Ferrer was actually singing and dancing with his then-wife Rosemary Clooney, who was pregnant at the time. In an interview José Ferrer disclosed that he had to redo the "Jazza-Jazza-Doo-Doo" routine several times because the crew kept laughing out loud and interfering with the sound track. The director finally cleared the set of everyone not needed to film the segment and this time they got it on film. Gene Kelly's dance partner in the "I Love to go Swimmin' with Wimmen" number is his younger brother, Fred. The "Serenade" set used for "The Student Prince" segment is the same set that was used in ‘The Student Prince’ [1954], which had been shot earlier that year. The role of Anna Mueller was originally intended for Jeanette MacDonald. The chorus dancer in yellow initially sitting at the bar in Ann Miller's number is Gene Kelly.

Cast: José Ferrer, Merle Oberon, Helen Traubel, Doe Avedon, Walter Pidgeon, Paul Henreid, Tamara Toumanova (dubbed by Betty Wand), Paul Stewart, Isobel Elsom, David Burns, Jim Backus, Rosemary Clooney, Gene Kelly, Fred Kelly, Jane Powell, Vic Damone, Ann Miller, William Olvis, Cyd Charisse, James Mitchell, Howard Keel, Tony Martin, Joan Weldon, Douglas Fowley, Aladdin (Violinist uncredited), John Alvin (uncredited), Richard Beavers (uncredited), Lulu Mae Bohrman (uncredited), Gail Bonney (uncredited), Else Bäck (uncredited), Robert Carson (uncredited), Jeanne Dante (uncredited), Mary Alan Hokanson (uncredited), Mitchell Kowall (uncredited), Henri Letondal (uncredited), Susan Luckey (uncredited), Lane Nakano (uncredited), Maudie Prickett (uncredited), Joe Roach (uncredited), Norbert Schiller (uncredited), Ludwig Stössel (uncredited), Henry Sylvester (uncredited), Russ Tamblyn (uncredited), Dee Turnell (uncredited), Jean Vander Pyl (uncredited), Bobby Watson (uncredited) and Gordon Wynn (uncredited)

Director: Stanley Donen

Producer: Roger Edens

Screenplay: Elliott Arnold (book) and Leonard Spigelgass (screenplay)

Composers: Adolph Deutsch (uncredited), Alexander Courage (uncredited) and Sigmund Romberg

Cinematography: George J. Folsey (Director of Photography)

Image Resolution: 1080p (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English: 5.0 DTS-HD Master Audio
English: 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH

Running Time: 132 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Warner Archive Collection

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ [1954] is a totally delightful musical, of the biography of composer Sigmund Romberg that is perhaps not so much biography as it is pastiche, but this is what makes it so successful. It is long a common complaint of classic film fans, even fans of musicals that filmed biographies of composers fall short of the mark when it comes to being authentic or factual. I won’t disagree. However, neither do I expect a musical, even in the form of a biography of a composer, to be a documentary. It is first and foremost a revue of his music, and ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ gives us a smattering of Sigmund Romberg’s experiences as in immigrant to the USA in the days of Tin Pan Alley, nevertheless firmly keeps to his music as a method of telling the story of his aspirations as a composer. To this end Sigmund Romberg was fighting the “modern” trends of music with its soul-crushing disposable fads, and yearning for the opportunity to express himself in his own way and these ideals are timeless among creative people and in telling this story the film is completely successful.

Director Stanley Donen’s film ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ is a film bio-pic on the life and times of Austro-Hungarian born composer, Sigmund Romberg, whose sentimental operettas set the Broadway stage afire all the way back in the late teens and early 1920’s. Predictably, it’s a lie, despite screenwriter, Leonard Spigelgass having Elliott Arnold’s legitimate biography on Romberg from which to glean his inspiration. But ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ film is not interested in facts, nor even Sigmund Romberg per say; it is really only about his prolific music, that is portrayed in a light hearted way by Mel Ferrer; who gives a very convincing performance on how Sigmund Romberg rose to prominence, with the help of the brilliant director Stanley Donen, who manages to cram no less than 22 songs from 11 Broadway shows in the composer’s bulging back catalogue. This was the last of M-G-M’s three lavishly appointed bio-pics devoted to the famous Tin Pan Alley composers, which of course culminate in the M-G-M studio’s previous two efforts, which included ‘Till The Clouds Roll By [1946] and, ‘Words and Music’ [1948] which is infinitely superior in virtually all regards, especially more delicately structured, if no less fictional. But ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ is M-G-M’s last gasp to show off its formidable array of musical talent in some very big bold and splashy production numbers to great effect.

‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ opens with an orchestral fanfare and dedication to Sigmund Romberg, and here José Ferrer is presumably ‘conducting’ the M-G-M studio orchestra through an overture of highlights. From here, we go to the studio’s time-honoured New York Street outdoor set, looking slightly artificial, but at least it shows us what the period costumes were at the time, that seems to be sparsely populated by extras. We glimpse a much younger Sigmund Romberg hurrying into the Café Vienna to work as a waiter in this Tyrolean establishment, which is a reconstituted from the set decorations from the film ‘The Student Prince’ [1947] and is run by Sigmund Romberg’s good friend, Anna Mueller [Helen Traubel]. Anna Mueller has great faith in Sigmund  Romberg’s song writing abilities, but not much encouragement from the over the top song writing promoter, Lazar Berrison, Sr. [David Burns] who, after hearing a sample of Sigmund Romberg’s stuff, declares him it is definitely old hat and passé. The public doesn’t want to do their high stepping to three quarter time, but more like the jazzy riffs of ragtime. Undaunted, Sigmund Romberg writes the song “The Leg of Mutton” a very nonsensical ditty that nevertheless catches the popular zeitgeist and becomes a massive big seller.

Sigmund Romberg is unimpressed, both with his residuals and the results. Nevertheless, a short while later, the popularity of the “The Leg of Mutton” attracts the attentions of Bert Townsend, the right hand man to Broadway impresario, J.J. Shubert and while interrupting J.J. Shubert’s rehearsals with prima chanteuse, Gaby Deslys [Tamara Toumanova], Sigmund Romberg auditions a new song he has expressly written to impress J.J. Shubert. However, after listening to a few bars of ‘Softly, As In The Morning Sunrise’ and so Gaby Deslys, Bert Townsend and J.J. Shubert are all rather dismissive of its possibilities. Alas, on opening night, Sigmund Romberg witnesses what crass commercialism can do to a subtly sustained ballad, especially with Gaby Deslys is seen cavorting in a skimpy costume, adorned from horn to hoof in lurid red feathers and prancing about like a circus pony; the song’s fragile lyrics having lost all poignancy as she stamps her high-heeled shoes down a majestic staircase and it is a total disaster, as far as Sigmund Romberg is concerned.

From here on in, ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ almost entirely devotes its time on the screen as a sort of revue-styled travelogue through the Sigmund Romberg catalogue; and introducing us to the cavalcade of riches in Sigmund Romberg’s repertoire and somewhere along the way, Dorothy Donnelly [Merle Oberon falls ill who sadly died at only 47; and in the final majestic number before a full orchestra, Romberg’s signature tune, “Deep in My Heart.” And her off-screen death is dealt with swiftly; but then Sigmund Romberg finds himself adrift in no man’s land and reluctantly has to move on to establish a partnership with Oscar Hammerstein II. More truncated vignettes devoted to Sigmund Romberg’s life behind the scenes, sandwiched between an interminable series of ballads and production numbers. Time passes as it always does in these types of films. Attending the opening night party for his latest venture at the Café Vienna, Sigmund Romberg suffers his most scathing reviews yet and even worse scenario, he is inadvertently insulted by a bobby-soxer, Arabella Bell [Susan Luckey], who accompanied by her date, Lazar Berrison Jr. [Russ Tamblyn]; and Sigmund Romberg is told that his music is too highbrow for the masses. But this criticism sparks Lillian to reconsider her husband’s place in the echelons of great composers. Sigmund Romberg has transcended Broadway and Sigmund Romberg is encouraged to conduct a symphonic orchestra in a study of his greatest theatrical achievements, Sigmund Romberg, sort of briefly resists and in short order, Sigmund Romberg thinks better on his decision to delay, and appears on stage at Carnegie Hall. His farewell speech to the audience is perhaps the most poetic part of the entire film; waxing whimsically about ‘high’ vs. ‘lowbrow’ and ‘art’ vs. ‘commerce;’ with his summation and reflections on a life richly lived and even more richly rewarded; Sigmund Romberg saving his most heartfelt thanks for his beloved Lillian, bringing her on stage to share in this night of nights as the audience rises to give them both a standing ovation.

Stanley Donen, I think was a totally brilliant and exceptional director of musicals, and his quick style and expressive camera work reminds me a little of the work of Michael Curtiz in a way, the way the camera sweeps, pans, and catches little things and it is never static. But it is the outstanding cast of this musical that is the most intriguing. José Ferrer stars as composer Sigmund Romberg who is a star on Broadway and of course it was a serendipitous choice as José Ferrer is astounding in this role and was a true “Renaissance” man, his abilities not only in dramatic acting, musicianship, languages, and a beautifully silly flare for comedy, as José Ferrer is perfect in this film.


OVERTURE (Will You Remember (Sweetheart) / The Desert Song / One Kiss / Deep in My Heart / The Riff Song) (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly) [Performed by Adolph Deutsch and the M-G-M Studio Orchestra and Chorus]

YOU WILL REMEMBER VIENNA (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) [Performed by Helen Traubel] [Originally from the film ‘Viennese Nights’] (1930)

LEG ON MUTTEN (Some Smoke) (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Sigmund Romberg) [Performed by José Ferrer and Helen Traubel]

‘ALLO ‘ALLO [Performed by Tamara Toumanova and dubbed by Betty Wand] (uncredited)

SOFTLY, AS IN A MORNING SUNRISE (Reprise) (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) [Performed by Helen Traubel] [Originally from the musical “New Moon”] (1928)

Mr. AND MRS. (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Cyrus D. Wood) [Performed by Rosemary Clooney and José Ferrer] [Originally from the musical "The Blushing Bride"] (1922)

I LOVE TO SWIMMIN’ WITH WIMMIN’ (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Ballard MacDonald) [Performed by Gene Kelly and Fred Kelly] [Originally from the musical "Love Birds"] (1921)

ROAD TO PARADISE (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Rida Johnson Young) [Performed by Vic Damone] [Originally from the musical "Maytime"] (1917)

WILL YOU REMEMBER? (Sweetheart) (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Rida Johnson Young) [Performed by Jane Powell and Vic Damone] [Originally from the musical "Maytime"] (1917)

GOODBYE GIRLS / FAT FAT FATIMA / JAZZ-A-DOO (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Harold Atteridge) [Performed by José Ferrer] [Originally from the musical "Bombo"] (1921)

IT (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto A. Harbach) [Performed by Ann Miller] [Originally from the musical "The Desert Song"] (1926)

SERENADE (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly) [Performed by William Olvis] [Originally from the musical "The Student Prince"] (1924)

ONE ALONE (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto A. Harbach) [Performed by Cyd Charisse (dubbed by Carol Richards (uncredited) and James Mitchell] [Originally from the musical "The Desert Song"] (1926)

YOUR LAND AND MY LAND (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly) [Performed by Howard Keel] [Originally from the musical "My Maryland"] (1927)

AUF WIEDERSEHN (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Herbert Reynolds) [Performed by Helen Traubel] [Originally from the musical "The Blue Paradise"] (1915)

LOVER, COME BACK TO ME (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) [Performed by Tony Martin and Joan Weldon] [Originally from the musical "New Moon"] (1928)

STOUTHEARTED MAN (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) [Performed by Helen Traubel] [Originally from the musical "New Moon"] (1928)

WHEN I GROW TO OLD TO DREAM (Music by Sigmund Romberg) (Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) [Performed by José Ferrer] [Originally from the film ‘The Night Is Young’] (1935)

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Blu-ray Image Quality – Warner Archive Collection has really pushed the boat out in presenting this beautiful Technicolor wizard of a film ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ in a stunning 1080p image and an equally impressive 1.85:1 aspect ratio. But for Blu-ray a new scan was created at 2k from an interpositive by Warner's Motion Picture Imaging facility that helps to give the film and the Blu-ray a brilliant substantial cleaning and restoration work of the image was undertaken in the digital domain, and a few shots had to be substituted from dupes because of damage and similar issues. The Blu-ray image is totally remarkable, with very solid blacks, but for any alert viewer may occasionally notice a bluish cast to some of the tuxedos worn by Sigmund Romberg or his, but this is an effect of lighting rather than an issue with the image, as the remaining blacks in the frame remain steady. The Technicolor colours are totally vibrant, and detail are very strong, all of which allows one to appreciate the elaborate decor and costumes of the many production numbers viewed throughout the film to great effect, so top marks for Warner Archive Collection for achieving a first class image quality that makes this film look so good to view.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – Once again Warner Archive Collection has again really pushed the boat out in presenting this film ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ in a very impressive 5.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Surround Sound. The sound remixes gives the orchestral performances a thrilling fullness across the front soundstage, with the rear channels providing a sense of space and depth. Dynamic range and clarity are both impressive, especially in the rendering of the vocal performances, which reach operatic highs in the case of singers like Helen Traubel; with her rich deep voices and especially with Howard Keel's baritone sound is equally good. The dialogue is clearly equally rendered, even when José Ferrer delivers it at top speed, which is quite often. I can definitely say watching this brilliant Blu-ray of ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ gives all fans of Sigmund Romberg's music a really fulfilling experience and as far as I am concerned there is no doubt that this sound and vision reproduction of this Blu-ray gives it as good a showcase as possible and it was a totally satisfying experience, so well done Warner Archive Collection.

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Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Special Feature: M-G-M OSCAR® Nominated Musical Short: The Strauss’ Fantasy [1954] [1080p] [1.37:1] [9:48] In the red-panelled M-G-M Concert Hall, the M-G-M Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Johnny Green, plays polkas and waltzes from "gay, romantic, 19th-century Vienna" composed by Johann Strauss Sr., Johann Strauss Jr., and Josef Strauss and the musical programme includes "On the Beautiful Blue Danube," "Pizzicato Polka," "Tales from the Vienna Woods," "Vienna Life," "The High Spirits Polka," "The Emperor Waltz," "Radetzky Waltz," and "Overture to the Bat." At least 70 musicians comprise of the orchestra. Producer: Johnny Green. Cinematography: Ray Rennahan.

Special Feature: Classic M-G-M Theatrical Cartoon: The Farm of Tomorrow [1954] [1080p] [1.37:1] [6:32] A series of gags showing how much more productive farms would be if farmers started crossbreeding their animals to create weird (but very useful) hybrids. In a politically incorrect scene, eggs are put in a toaster and out pops yellow chicks… except that when you turn it up too high, out pop black chicks. Voice Cast: Daws Butler (Scrawny Chick) (uncredited), June Foray (Female Hen) (uncredited) and Paul Frees (Narrator) (uncredited). Director: Tex Avery. Screenplay: Heck Allen. Producer: Fred Quimby. Composer: Scott Bradley.

Special Feature: Outtake Song: Dance My Darling [1954] [1080p] [1.37:1] [3:04] This deleted outtake musical number of "Dance My Darlings" was from the 1935 Broadway show, "May Wine" (lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) and sung by Helen Traubel.

Special Feature: Outtake Scene: Girlies of the Cabaret [1954] [1080p] [1.37:1] [1:15] This deleted outtake musical number of "Girlies of the Cabaret" (lyrics by Harold Atteridge), is performed by Esther Williams and George Murphy, in what would have been his last feature in a 20-year screen career.

Special Feature: Audio-Only Bonus Outtake: One Kiss / Lover Come Back to Me [1954] [1080p] [1.78:1] [7:20] This deleted Audio-Only outtake medley musical number of “One Kiss/Lover Come Back to Me” is sung by Tony Martin and Joan Weldon and are of two songs from the 1928 Broadway score of "The New Moon" (lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II); "One Kiss" (cut from the movie) and "Lover Come Back to Me" (used in the film).

Theatrical Trailer [1954] [1080i] [1.85:1] [4:34] This is the Original Theatrical trailer for the film ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ and is a great spectacular presentation, plus you get some samples of the wonderful songs in the film and you also get see some of the wonderful brilliant talented actors in the film.

Finally, ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ is a film I have never heard of before, but what a joy and delight it has seeing this amazing Technicolor brought out on the equally brilliant Blu-ray release and I hope Warner Archive Collection will release more of these hidden gems in the future. Of course ‘DEEP IN MY HEART’ will not appeal to all viewers of this type of Hollywood genre biography type musical, especially on the composer Sigmund Romberg, who to be honest I had never heard of before seeing this film, or of all that Sigmund Romberg produced, and of course I did not realise it was from Sigmund Romberg. But despite this, the film reflects a genuine love of an art form that provides an essential enjoyment for modern entertainment, and for anyone who loves musicals like I do, will find something to enjoy here, whether it's the central performance, the colourful kaleidoscope of the production numbers and especially simply the idealised view of Broadway a century ago and it is a credit to the professional job of Warner Archive Collection in bringing this Blu-ray to everyone who again loves these types of Hollywood genre biography type musicals to our attention and please keep up the good work. Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado 
Le Cinema Paradiso 
United Kingdom

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