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Concertinas in the Cinema


Ishtar
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In the movie "Oliver" (1968), the scene where the song "Oom Pah Pah" is sung, at :15, 1:05, 1:43, through 1:58 and 4:05, there is an English concertina. It's big, black, shiny, unsymetrical, and has a convex surface where the keys are. Looks expensive, so I assume it's actually being played, unlike the normal cheap props they usually use. Is it a "baritone", because of it's size? :unsure:

 

Here is the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQjtMJ14gzc&fmt=18

 

If you'd like the whole movie, it's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLyWKyyWKDU in 16 parts.

 

Thanks

Leo

PS, anybody know who's playing it? :unsure:

Edited by Leo
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In the movie "Oliver" (1968), the scene where the song "Oom Pah Pah" is sung, at :15, 1:05, 1:43, through 1:58 and 4:05, there is an English concertina. It's big, black, shiny, unsymetrical, and has a convex surface where the keys are. Looks expensive, so I assume it's actually being played, unlike the normal cheap props they usually use. Is it a "baritone", because of it's size? :unsure:

 

Here is the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQjtMJ14gzc&fmt=18

 

If you'd like the whole movie, it's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLyWKyyWKDU in 16 parts.

 

Thanks

Leo

PS, anybody know who's playing it? :unsure:

Hi Leo,

 

I'll say first what I know, then what I think.

 

The concertina player in "Oliver" is Peter Honri, who I met a few times, and once visited. Peter is best known as a Maccann Duet player, although I have seen him perform with a miniature English.

 

What I think (what my eyes and ears are telling me) is that Peter is "fingering" the English in the film, but the sound is over-dubbed with him playing the Maccann Duet.

 

Any C.net member have definite knowledge on this point?

 

Regards,

Peter.

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Hi Leo,

 

I'll say first what I know, then what I think.

 

The concertina player in "Oliver" is Peter Honri, who I met a few times, and once visited. Peter is best known as a Maccann Duet player, although I have seen him perform with a miniature English.

 

What I think (what my eyes and ears are telling me) is that Peter is "fingering" the English in the film, but the sound is over-dubbed with him playing the Maccann Duet.

............................

 

Regards,

Peter.

Hi Peter

 

Thanks. I was listening to it yesterday (more for noise than actually watching it), and glanced over and could see it toward the end of the song. It surprised me so I watched it again with my full attention. As many times as I've listened to it I never noticed it before. Looks like Peter Honri also played a "concertina player" in a 1985 TV miniseries called "Oliver Twist": http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0393405/#actor1960

 

Thanks

Leo :D

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  • 2 weeks later...
I have never played a Concertina in a Movie { YET! ;) } but I did play a Fiddle

 

Sorry for butting in! :)

 

Cheers

Dick

 

Hi Dick

 

I caught up with this movie finally (I taped it last week and watched it yesterday..

Great music all through ----bot oh dear me, the filming of the actors "playing" was really dreadful!

Female lead seemed to manage to play magnificently allsorts of tunes (on fiddle) without the slightest movement of her left hand fingers, the bowing arm moved a bit but not t'other. Right near the end one of the men suddenly decides to bow left handed, having spent the rest of the film the other way round..... very distracting!

... and the plot .... and the ending! :(

I recommend listeneing to this for the fine music with your eyes closed!

 

At least I was at home .. I almost got thrown out of the cinema for muttering comments watching Asteroid (I'm an engineer at an observatory)

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Tonight I watched the silent Hollywood classic Greed (1924), directed by Erich von Stroheim. There is a scene in which the protagonist, McTeague, sits 'on a sewer' and plays 'Nearer My God to Thee' on an anglo to woo his potential fiancee. The scene is heavy with irony, one of the implications being that a concertina is a low-life instrument befitting the man's roguish character and the shabby locale. I haven't read the source novel, Frank Norris's McTeague, but upon googling I see it is mentioned in Allan Atlas's book on the Victorian concertina.

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The first song to ever win Best Song at the Academy Awards "The Continental" from The Gay Divorcee (1934) with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers had a character "playing" a concertina in it. The whole song goes on for a while, eight, ten, twelve minutes or so. Ginger sings, Fred and Ginger dance, then a supporting character sings it, a concertina in his hands. He moves the bellows like there's no tomorrow and fails to ever move his fingers, but the concertina's there for a good minute.

Edited by ziegfeld_girl
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Tonight I watched the silent Hollywood classic Greed (1924), directed by Erich von Stroheim. There is a scene in which the protagonist, McTeague, sits 'on a sewer' and plays 'Nearer My God to Thee' on an anglo to woo his potential fiancee. The scene is heavy with irony, one of the implications being that a concertina is a low-life instrument befitting the man's roguish character and the shabby locale. I haven't read the source novel, Frank Norris's McTeague, but upon googling I see it is mentioned in Allan Atlas's book on the Victorian concertina.

Hi LangoLee

 

Thanks. I would have never found that. I did find the story a while ago, and only considered it a short story. It only has 22 quick chapters. I read it in a short evening. The concertina plays a prominent part in the novel as it's his prized posession. How they made a 10 hour movie out of that I'll never know.

 

The novel is here: http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/165

 

The whole movie (the short version) is online here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=E59AF3B2CE848674

in 30 parts. I couldn't find the concertina except as a still picture. Click Play All on the right, and it will play without pause.

 

Thanks

Leo :D

Edited by Leo
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The first song to ever win Best Song at the Academy Awards "The Continental" from The Gay Divorcee (1934) with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers had a character "playing" a concertina in it. The whole song goes on for a while, eight, ten, twelve minutes or so. Ginger sings, Fred and Ginger dance, then a supporting character sings it, a concertina in his hands. He moves the bellows like there's no tomorrow and fails to ever move his fingers, but the concertina's there for a good minute.

Hi Ziegfeld_girl

 

I really enjoy those 30's and 40s movies. They're my favorites. That scene is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ggL1yd38Lc&fmt=18 and the concertina shows up at 4:00 into the clip. He does look like he's pumping the concertina a little too fast, and not in time with the music either. :lol: :blink:

 

Thanks

Leo

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The whole movie (the short version) is online here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=E59AF3B2CE848674

in 30 parts. I couldn't find the concertina except as a still picture. Click Play All on the right, and it will play without pause.

 

Ah, that's the four-hour semi-reconstructed version, actually the longest extant; I only saw the studio cut, which is two and a bit hours long (the original unreleased nine hour version is lost).

 

In the YouTube sequence, the concertina scene appears at the beginning of part 8:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XtOX4pSwSU...674&index=7

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Ah, that's the four-hour semi-reconstructed version, actually the longest extant; I only saw the studio cut, which is two and a bit hours long (the original unreleased nine hour version is lost).

 

In the YouTube sequence, the concertina scene appears at the beginning of part 8:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XtOX4pSwSU...674&index=7

Hi LangoLee

 

That explains it. I didn't watch past part 6. I was disappointed there wasn't more of the concertina scenes like in the book, and lost interest. Maybe they were in all the lost scenes. It would be interesting to know what music played along with the silent movie. Maybe they used a real concertina?

 

In another movie Fishermans Wharf (1939)

An Anglo used in the first scene as a prop and later in a song at 7:47. Part 1 of 11. In all the songs in the movie, the instruments are all props.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stMMOqy3MSU&fmt=18

 

In 1960 Elvis Presley was in a movie called "G.I. Blues". In one of the scenes he sings "Wooden Heart" and a concertina is used as a prop in the beginning. I think it's sung to accordion music.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7lte6_el...den-heart_music

 

In the movie "Fate is the Hunter" (1964) Rod Taylor sings "Blue Moon" to the accompaniment of an anglo. It's used as a prop.

 

"The Maggie" is a 1954 movie about a Clyde "Puffer" boat with a concertina played throughout the movie and it showing up occasionally. The story was based on "The Vital Spark" from 1906, later to be made a tv show "The Tales of Para Handy".

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047085/

 

The whole movie: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=B10B5BA2AC488946

 

Thanks again for finding it.

Leo :)

Edited by Leo
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  • 1 month later...
Bing Crosby in 'High Society' sits in the bottom of a boat 'playing' and singing (? 'True Love') to Grace Kelly,working the bellows on a hideous red 'concertina' as if he's trying to pump up an air mattress.

Hi John

 

It's here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4awCZr7GwY&fmt=18

 

If you prefer the whole movie, click on the right "Play All Videos"

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=A71D800459C5F6A7

 

Still only used as a prop. No real playing. :(

 

Thanks

Leo

I was watching that film the other day. Its funny I never spotted concertina's before in the media...but since I know what one is I notice more and more. :blink:

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I was watching that film the other day. Its funny I never spotted concertina's before in the media...but since I know what one is I notice more and more. :blink:

Hi LDT

 

Yes. It happens. Like my post above on the movie Oliver. I don't know how many times I watched, or listened to it since 1968, to only notice last month a concertina in one of the songs.

 

Shows how observant I am. Not very, and I watch a lot of movies. :lol: :rolleyes:

 

Thanks :)

Leo

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  • 8 months later...

I am resurrecting this topic because of an unexpected and thusfar unrecorded (I think) concertina appearence in a movie. We were watching a DVD of a film made in 1990 called ''Henry and June''. A mildly erotic film about the American writer Henry Miller and his romance with the French writer Anais Nin. Mildly erotic to us Europeans of course, but certainly way too erotic for the prudish eyes of Americans :P The film is quite bad anyway, and the only moment of surprise to me was the appearance of a miniature concertina that was actually played (no prop!). And that in Paris in the 1930s!

Does someone know who plays the miniature concertina (could not see if it was AC or EC)?

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  • 6 months later...

I just watched 'Madadayo' (1993 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa).

 

There was one scene with concertina (presumably German anglo).

I found a photo of that scene here.

http://filmantrop.net/2010/03/akira-kurosawa-100-ar-topp-30-filmer-11-20/

 

--

Taka

Hi Taka

 

That was hard to find, but here it is. It's the first 3 minutes:

 

Thanks

Leo B)

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Not sure if this one was flagged, but in '49th Parallel", Laurence Olivier has a brief role early on as Johnnie, a Canadian fur trapper. He whips out an EC an begins 'playing' and singing in an 'overripe' accent which the IMDB's review reckons".... portends the hamminess of his twilight career roles."

 

Still, nice concertina!

 

Michael.

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  • 1 year later...

Time to revive this thread after a couple of years:

 

I just saw the latest sci-fi blockbuster, Ridley Scott's Prometheus, billed as a prequel of sorts to the Alien franchise. I went in with low expectations after reading the reviews, but was generally entertained.

 

Anyway, what makes it pertinent here is a scene in which the character played by Idris Elba (better known as 'Stringer Bell' from The Wire) is briefly seen holding (and unconvincingly squeezing) a concertina! It looked like an Edeophone. When asked about it, he claims, rather implausibly, that it once belonged to Stephen Stills.

 

I'd like to add that the instrument plays a critical role in the resolution of the plot, but alas, it makes no further appearance. Still, this must be the most high-profile Hollywood deployment of a concertina in a while.

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