Thursday, August 02, 2012

Marcia Van Dyke

Until I saw (last night) it for the first time since childhood (and the first time in color), I didn't realize that In The Good Old Summertime, the 1949 remake of Ernst Lubitsch's 1940 The Shop Around the Corner (both are based on a play about a perfume store written by Miklos Laszlo, which also seriously influenced Nora Ephron's 1998 You've Got Mail) was such a violin movie. Marcia Van Dyke, who plays a mean "Souvenir de Moscow" near the end of the movie, led a double life as Hollywood star and as a member of the San Francisco Symphony.

Louise Parkson, Marcia Van Dyke's character, is a violinist who is valued in the course of the film for her excellent playing rather than simply for her physical beauty.

You can read a brief article about her in the January 19, 1948 issue of Life


Don Kushman said...

For many years, I wondered who this violinist was, whether it was just a starlet who mimed the fiddling while Isaac Stern or somebody else really played. But Van Dyke's fingering was just too good, she was obviously the 'real deal'. Just watching the movie right now on TCM and looked up her history on the Net. The mystery is solved!

Anonymous said...

Marcia Van Dyke was engaged to be married to my father sometime early in WWII. He was an Navel officer who was wounded in the Pacific and was sent to a hospital in Southern California for final rehabilitation. He met Marcia at one of the many social events arranged by local families.

I know little about their courtship. but my father was betrothed to her for a couple of years until he received a "Dear John" letter sometime during his service.

My father was/is an avid photographer who took many pictures of Ms. Van Dyke. These are Kodachrome slides in sharp detail and brilliant color. I've often thought it would be nice if we could share them with her family. She was obviously an extraordinary person.
J. Reed

Elaine Fine said...

Thank you for sharing this!

rishebmw said...


Why not share those Kodachromes with all of us around the planet. Miss van Dyke was in the public eye. If your father is still living, why not interview him about his service to our country, and ask him to tell about Miss van Dyke. There are many of us who would like to know more about this remarkable woman.
Richard Sheckler

tulipenoire2012 said...

Although she appears only a few minutes in the movie this was undoubtedly, HER movie.. (Pardon me Judy's fans; I'm also one of them). I presume Miss Marcia has conserved her beauty till her last day.