Movie Trailer: The Saddest Music in the World1

If you haven’t seen this-SEE IT! An incredible mix of contemporary dialog with a 1930’s look and feel. A great cast including Isabella Rosellini and one of the guys from ‘The Kids in the Hall. The plot:

During the Great depression in 1933 in Winnipeg, Canada, an old fortune teller is predicting the future for arrogant Chester Kent (Mark McKinney), a failing Broadway producer, and his nymphomaniac amnesiac girlfriend Narcissa (Maria de Medeiros). The fortune teller predicts doom, but Chester laughs it off, and rides a train into Winnipeg. The baroness Lady Helen Port-Huntley (Isabella Rossellini) announces a competition to find the saddest music in the world; she hopes that the competition will raise the sales of her beer, especially since Prohibition is about to fall. Chester decides to enter the contest representing America. It emerges that Lady Port-Huntley, who has no legs, was once Chester’s lover; and saying that “of all the people in the world, you know the least about grief,” she orders him to try to make her cry by retelling how she lost her legs. It emerges that his dad Fyodor Kent (David Fox) was also in love with her. Since she preferred Chester, Fyodor became an alcoholic. One day as they were driving as Helen performs oral sex on Chester, they accidentally crashed into Fyodor’s car, and Helen’s left leg was trapped in the wreckage. A drunken Fyodor, determined to save and marry his beloved, amputates her leg but removes the wrong one accidentally. In the present, Lady Port-Huntley tells Chester he can try, but she doesn’t think he’ll succeed.

Musicians are streaming into Winnipeg, including Roderick Kent (Ross McMillan), representing Serbia. Roderick is swathed in mourning and hypochondria, because his young son died (he carries the child’s heart in a jar, preserved with the tears shed by his guilt) and his wife is missing. As soon as he arrives, he and Chester begin grating on each other. A sober Fyodor also reveals that because of his tragic mistake, he has been making prosthetic legs for Helen. She’s allergic to metal and leather, so he uses glass ones, and fills them with her brand of beer.

The contest begins, with various countries pitted against each other. Fyodor’s melodramatic piano ballad is soon defeated, but Chester’s glitzy “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” act wins over the audience. Unfortunately Roderick sees Narcissa singing from a swinging seat, and collapses in horror realizing it’s his wife singing. Roderick manages to do his act, and defeats everyone with his heartbreaking cello music. After, Roderick gives his father’s glass legs to Lady Port-Huntley, who is able to walk for the first time in years. Overjoyed, she reunites with Chester and constantly sleeps with him, but when Fyodor begs her for forgiveness, she refuses to give it. Shattered, Fyodor returns to drinking, and on falls through the glass ceiling into a pool of beer and dies.

Meanwhile, Roderick has reunited with his wife. But since Narcissa doesn’t remember him or their son, she simply regards him as a one-night stand, and sings a tragic love song as if it were a showtune. Roderick’s heart-in-a-jar falls from a window and shatters. Roderick becomes determined to crush his heartless brother, and plays his most plaintive music ever, while Chester manipulates the audience with his positive showtunes, often buying out other countries he’s defeated in the contest to “join America” in his performance. Soon the brothers are the only ones left in the competition, and Lady Port-Huntley — with her glass legs — is part of Chester’s final act. But a few jagged notes from Roderick’s cello are enough to spring leaks in the glass, and the legs collapse. Horrified and humiliated, she orders her gigolo to carry her back to her office.

Roderick plays his most tragic piece, and Narcissa sings sadly to it as her memories return. Chester goes to comfort Helen, but she stabs him with a giant piece of glass from her shattered legs. The bleeding Chester staggers out smoking a cigar, dropping a match in a puddle of spilled beer. Soon the entire building is going up in flames. Helen is carried out by Teddy, and Roderick and Narcissa escape, embracing each other. Chester staggers to a piano and plays Narcissa’s ballad — the saddest music in the world as he burns in the fire.

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