The Forgotten melody

(Zapomniana melodia, 1938).
   The crowning achievement of prewar Polish musical comedy, directed by Konrad Tom and Jan Fethke. This comedy of errors offers a fresh and unpretentious filmic experience. The well-executed script by Fethke, Ludwik Starski, and Napoleon Sądek introduces a lively and logically developed plot. Stefan (Aleksander Żabczyński), who is in love with Helenka (Helena Grossówna), is mistaken for the son of a cosmetics firm owner who competes with the company owned by Helenka's father (Antoni Fertner). Helenka's father, afraid of the competition, destroys the recipe for his new product but first memorizes it with the help of a melody that he later forgets. In the film's climax, he recalls the "forgotten melody" while listening to Stefan's song addressed to his beloved Helenka.
   Forgotten Melody was cast with an ensemble of popular actors, including Grossówna, Żabczyński, Fertner, Jadwiga Andrzejewska, Michał Znicz, and Stanisław Sielański. It neither relied on a star performance nor resembled popular cabaret sketches—the Achilles' heel of a number of prewar Polish comedies. The prewar Polish reviewers aptly noted a similarity to American musicals, mainly to the well-received films featuring Universal Studio's star Deanna Durbin. Today, this film is chiefly remembered in Poland for its musical pieces composed by Henryk Wars to the lyrics of Starski.
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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