The film begins in the 1920's, when Eddy Duchin arrives in New York in search of a piano gig. Though he is fresh out of pharmacy college, music is Eddy's passion, and, although initially discouraged by rejection, he does not give up. One day, he happens to be playing Chopin and socialite Marjorie Oehlrichs (Kim Novak) overhears him. Impressed, she uses her influence to get Eddy his first engagement, and eventually, Eddy becomes a part of the Reisman Orchestra.
Eddy's career begins to take off, as does his and Marjorie's relationship. They marry and are very much in love and quite happy. However, shortly after the birth of their son, Peter, Marjorie dies, leaving Eddy devastated and broken-hearted...and wanting nothing to do with their child. The remainder of the film chronicles Eddy's years of avoiding contact with his son, reconnecting with him, and, his own tragic, untimely death of leukemia at the age of 41.
This is a wonderful movie, and it showcases alot of beautiful music. Just so you know, Tyrone Power did not do his own piano playing...even though the camera did an incredible job making it seem as though he did. Pianist Carmen Cavallaro was the real musician bringing Eddy's Duchin's music to life. Tyrone Power, who firmly sits at about #10 on my favorite actor list, was great in this role. I thought he was fantastic in every scene, but the "Merry Christmas" scene is particularly outstanding.
Kim Novak was lovely in her role. Though I've since seen her in other films, at the time I watched The Eddy Duchin Story for the first time, it was my first exposure to her...and I very much liked her. Although this film is called a tear-jerker, and I am generally a HUGE sap and cry quite readily, the film only made me misty-eyed a few times. While there were tears, there were no sobs...I think that's because they always seemed to cut away from too much emotion.