HEAVENLY MUSIC (1943)
Article 2168 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-21-2007
Posting Date: 7-20-2007
Directed by Josef Berne
Featuring Fred Brady, Mary Elliott, Eric Blore
A pop singer goes to heaven, but in order to be admitted to the Hall of Music, he must prove himself before some of the greatest classical composers from history.
This short is pretty hokey, but it’s also charming and beautiful to look at. It’s also an interesting exploration of musical influence; my favorite moment is when the singer presents his favorite song, only to be chided by Tchaikovsky for having stolen his melody, but then the singer turns the tables on him by demonstrating that Tchaikovsky’s melody was derived from one of Wagner’s, who himself lifted it from Brahms. It’s also good that this was a short; as a full-length feature, it would have gotten old quickly. As it is, it’s just the right length. This won an Oscar for the best two-reel short subject in 1944.