A young Jewish doctor turns his back on his ghetto upbringing -- and on his crippled sweetheart -- to make his fortune as a Park Avenue surgeon. Then tragedy strikes, forcing him to examine his life and rediscover his better self.
Fannie Hurst was one of the most popular authors of the first half of the 20th century, producing a stream of romantic tales rich with heartbreak and sacrifice - elements that transferred splendidly to the screen. Hollywood turned her works into the three-hanky hits Back Street, Imitation of Life, Humoresque and this tender melodrama, notable for its fine cast and vibrant depiction of immigrant life in New York's teeming Lower East Side. Symphony of Six Million follows a young Jewish doctor (Ricardo Cortez) who turns his back on his ghetto upbringing -- and on his crippled sweetheart (Irene Dunne) -- to make his fortune as a Park Avenue surgeon. Then tragedy strikes, forcing him to examine his life and rediscover his better self.
In this misleadingly-titled 1932 medical (not musical) drama, the resolve of a young surgeon is severely tested. Dr. Felix Klauber (Ricardo Cortez), is a selfless Jewish physician who has grown up in the segregated slums of New York City. Through hard work, he becomes a wealthy Park Avenue doctor. He is called to operate on his father, Meyer Klauber (Gregory Ratoff), to remove a small tumor. But Dr. Klauber makes a fatal mistake, and his father dies on the operating table. Klauber now becomes plagued by guilt and self-doubt and is afraid to practice his profession. His girlfriend Jessica (Irene Dunne) urges him to continue. When it turns out that she, too, requires surgery, his love for her and her entreaties compel him to return to perform the delicate operation. This RKO Studios production was based on a novel by Fannie Hurst.
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