Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Produced on behalf of the Office of War Information, Arturo Toscanini is the only extended filmed record of the brilliant orchestra conductor in action. Filmed in NBC Radio's legendary Studio 8H, this 33-minute documentary offers Toscanini and his NBC Symphony Orchestra in a specially-commissioned performance, designed to raise funds for the 5th War Loan drive. The centerpiece of the concert is Verdi's Hymn of the Nations, though the same composer's La Forza del Destino is performed with equal fervor. Narrator Burgess Meredith offers a brief history of Toscanini's own patriotic, anti-fascist activities, while Metropolitan Opera tenor Jan Peerce is featured soloist. The film ends with a rousing medley of national anthems, including the French Marseillaise and the Russia Internationale. Long unseen publicly, Arturo Toscanini was reissued in the mid-1970s by Blackhawk Films, a home-movie distributor, under the title Hymn of the Nations.