Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Hear My Song

1991 - Dir: Peter Chelsom
Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 26th November, 2005
“Hear My Song” enjoyed excellent reviews and full houses after its release fourteen years ago. It was therefore somewhat surprising to find that it had all but disappeared from catalogues and, it seemed, from memory in most cases. Eventually we managed to track down the one remaining copy in a despatch warehouse... and even more eventually we found out who owned it - and here it is tonight!
It’s a film of no little charm concerning the celebrated Irish tenor Josef Locke. Mr Locke was a real Irish tenor who enjoyed great success after the Second World War, to the extent that, in 1948, he was earning approximately £2,000 a week. Then in the 1950s the taxman became interested in his earnings and Locke simply disappeared. Around about the same time, a new singer of similar build and vocal style called Mr X started appearing in clubs and everyone started to believe that this was in fact Locke under a new guise.... now watch on!
“Hear My Song” cost less than £2 million to make and was shot in Ireland in under 6 weeks. Then first time director Peter Chelsom and co-writer/ star Adrian Dunbar took it to the Cannes Film Festival in search of a buyer. Miramax bought the rights and were rewarded with success at the American and UK box office, and a Golden Globe nomination for Ned Beatty. The voice you hear singing Locke’s repertoire is that of Vernon Midgeley, a well known light tenor who regularly appeared with his sister Marrietta on such shows as “Friday Night is Music Night”.... and as for the man himself,? Well now - didn’t he have the cheek to turn up to the premier of this film AND to burst into song on the pavement in front of Princess Di? He certainly did!

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