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Evensong is based on the teary novel by Beverly Nichols, which had previously spawned a lachrymose (and enormously successful) stage play (Kismet) by Nichols and Edward Knoblock. The stunning Evelyn Laye stars as Irela, an Irish prima donna who rises to success sans a lover to share it with. Her domineering manager Kober (Fritz Kortner) has spent his entire career forbidding Irela to seek out romance, and as a result she loses the one true love of her life, handsome Archduke Theodore (Carl Esmond). The drama reaches an emotional high tide when the elderly, washed-up Irela sits alone in her dingy dressing room, with only the scratchy recordings of her old songs to keep her company. Evelyn Laye made only a handful of film appearances, of which Evensong was arguably her finest. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


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