Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Laulava sydän

Hjärtats sång / [The Singing Heart]. FI 1948. PC: Suomen Filmiteollisuus. P: T.J. Särkkä. D: Edvin Laine. SC: Toivo Kauppinen. DP: Kalle Peronkoski; Osmo Harkimo. PD: Karl Fager. M: Toivo Kärki, "Laulava sydän", "Toukokuu" (lyrics: Kerttu Mustonen) sung by Tauno Palo. ED: Armas Vallasvuo. Sound: Yrjö Saari. Starring Tauno Palo (Aarno Harjus), Mirjami Kuosmanen (Niina Harjus), Annika Sipilä (the baby Annika Harjus), Eila Peitsalo (nurse Rauni Verkkola), Elna Hellman (maid Anna), Ossi Elstelä (the songwriter-inspector Viljami Erä), Wilho Ilmari (doctor), Ville Salminen (Håkansson, "author of travel books"). 71'. A fine 35mm safety print from YLE TV Archive. Viewed at Orion, Helsinki, 20 July 2005. A studio-era genre cocktail produced fast on the SF conveyor belt. The story of a singing accounting clerk who loses everything: his wife, his job, his health, and almost his daughter. A crook from his wife's past forges a check with his name on it. In an accident his pain from a war wound returns, and he gets addicted to a dangerous drug (morphine?). His daughter Annika tastes the drug, too, and gets in lethal danger. But his friend, a song-writing inspector, gives him a couple of songs, which become hits. And his admirer, nurse Rauni Verkkola, helps him save the baby. Maybe a new, better life will come out of this. Entertainment which reflects moods of the post-war years, experiences familiar to many. The great SF studio team works well under pressure, and the great ensemble of actors saves the day. Tauno Palo, Finlands n:o 1 star, our Vittorio de Sica, does not take the easy way out even in such a film. The character he portrays loses almost everything, including his mental health (drug addiction), yet he has something bigger to live for (his beloved daughter). From point zero he builds a new life with the help of his friends and supporters. As a singer, Tauno Palo is unique in his natural talent: masculine yet gentle, with a soft and warm feeling, a deep sense of goodness and vitality, and a self-evident virility that needs no emphasis. His is a wonder similar to certain songs by Elvis (The Girl Of My Best Friend). Life has been good to him, and he returns the goodness in spades.

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