Unfinished Symphony (film)

Unfinished Symphony is a 1934 British-Austrian musical drama film directed by Anthony Asquith and starring Mártha Eggerth, Helen Chandler, Hans Jaray, and Ronald Squire.[1] The film is based on the story of Franz Schubert who, in the 1820s left his symphony unfinished after losing the love of his life.[2] The film's alternate German-language version was called Gently My Songs Entreat.[3] This title refers to the first line of the Lied "Ständchen" (Serenade) from Schubert's collection Schwanengesang, "the most famous serenade in the world", performed by Mártha Eggerth in the film.[4]

Unfinished Symphony
Original lobby card
Directed byAnthony Asquith
Willi Forst
Written byWilli Forst
Benn W. Levy
Walter Reisch
StarringMártha Eggerth
Helen Chandler
Hans Jaray
Ronald Squire
CinematographyFranz Planer
Gaumont British
Cine-Allianz Tonfilmproduktion
Distributed byGaumont British (UK)
Fox Film Corporation (US)
Release date
23 August 1934 (UK)
11 January 1935 (US)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Critical reception

The New York Times wrote, "with a happy unconcern for dismal historical truths, the agreeable little musical film at the Roxy pursues the history of Franz Schubert's glorious B Minor symphony along the silken paths of romance...Hans Jaray's performance reveals Schubert as a gentle and sad-faced youth, inordinately sensitive and at the same time filled with modest confidence in his genius. The well-known German actress and singer, Marta Eggerth, is the lovely aristocrat who laughed at the wrong time, and she helps the photoplay considerably with the warmth and skill of her interpretations of the Schubert songs. Helen Chandler pouts agreeably as the unhappy pawnshop maiden who loved the composer though his heart belonged to another. Despite its mediocre and sometimes wretched photography, Unfinished Symphony provides a politely winning background for the immortal lieder of the great composer."[5]


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