8 February 2005 | sol1218
You were going at it as if it were the Climax of a Tremendous Symphony
(Some Spoilers) Touching 1939 tear-jerker that introduced to the movie going public here in the USA the beautiful and stalely 23 year-old Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman as Anita Hoffman. Who's the piano teacher for the young Ann Marie, Ann E. Todd, the daughter of famed concert violinist Holger Brandt, Leslie Howard.
After being a smashing success in America ending his concert tour at Carnegi Hall in New York City Holger tell his star struck admirers that he's leaving for his home in Sweden together his mentor and fellow musician Thomas Stenborg, John Holliday, to be with his family and get a long and well deserved rest from his grueling string of public performances. Back home with his loving wife Margit, Edna Best, and his two beautiful children Ann Marie and Eric, Douglas Scott, everything is wonderful for the Brandt family. Thats until Holger lays his eyes on Ann Marie's piano teacher, and also Thomas' music student, the stunning Anita Hoffman and it's love at first sight, or at first sound. Holger actually fell in love with Anita's music before he fell in love with her looks.
In no time at all Holger and Anita fall in love and both leave together for Europe as a duet, him playing the violin and Anita the piano, on the concert circuit. The two musical dynamos tear up the continent with record-breaking crowds attending their performances as Margit and the children are left behind in Sweden. With the only contact from their estranged husband and father being the radio that broadcasts his and Anita's musical acts.
Taking time off from their Europen tour the two lovers spend some time on the French coast where they run into Thomas who has, well both good and bad, news for them. The good news is that Anita has been awarded a scholarship to a major music academy and the bad news is that he has the divorce papers from Margit's lawyer for Holger to sign, which he doesn't. This bring a touch of reality into Holger and Anita's life where she realizes what she's done to the Brandt family by being the "Other Woman" in Holger and Margit's divorce papers. At the same time Anita tearfully leaves poor Holger all by himself by going back to Sweden to the music academy to accept her scholarship.
Holger soon becomes a man without a country, or family, as he bums around Europe afraid to go back home to face his family that he so selfishly destroyed by having an affair with Anita. Getting up enough courage to bring himself to go back to Sweden to give Ann Marie a birthday present, a camera, that he promised her soon turns out to be a tragedy. The happy Ann Marie, after seeing her dad, runs across the street from the school yard only to get hit by a speeding car and left in a coma.
Completely destroyed by his actions with his wife and son not even speaking to him and little Ann Marie on the brink of death or ending up crippled for life Holger, now for the first time, sees what a heel he was. Holger also sees how his love for another woman, who later left him, blinded him of all the good and wonderful things that he had in life. That he so foolishly threw away in the pursuit of his love, forbidden as it was, for Anita.
The movies contrived ending is a bit far-fetched but it's just how you would want it to end.Leslie Howard is perfect as Holger the tortured soul who was torn between the beautiful piano teacher Anita and his loving wife Margit. You could understand his actions even though you wouldn't agree with them. As for Ingrid Bergman as Anita? she was simply beautiful.