Embodying many firsts, A Song to Long For is unique in Turkish cinema. Its name immediately evokes Cahide Sonku and Zeki Müren's iconic piano pose and the titular song. The collaboration between these two names of course weighs more on Sonku's shoulders as she is a great movie star then and Müren is a radio celebrity, who has grown up as her fan, looking at her photographs while in high school.
According to Sevin Okyay, 'the one true star of the Muhsin Ertuğrul era was Cahide Sonku, who could be considered to have set up the basis for the "star" system that would become dominant in later years.' Following her stage years at the municipal theatre, Darülbedayi, Cahide Sonku debuted as actress on film in 1933 in Muhsin Ertuğrul's Söz Bir Allah Bir, and attained stardom as the lead in Aysel Bataklı Damın Kızı / Aysel, the Girl from the Swampy Roof (1934). She worked behind the camera first in 1949, founded the production company Sonku Film in 1950, and co-directed with Sami Ayanoğlu ve Orhon M. Arıburnu Vatan ve Namık Kemal as the first woman director of Turkish cinema. She co-directed Beklenen Şarkı / A Song to Long For with the same directing team in 1953.
Early 1950s are significant and quite vibrant in Turkish cinema: a new wave takes off with the introduction of the 'star system,' the production offices of Fuat Rutkay, Memduh Ün, Arşavir Alyanak, Nevzat Pesen are established, Sonku Film is established on the same street, on the third floor of Prim Building; the first Turkish colour film, Halıcı Kız / The Carpetmaker Girl (Muhsin Ertuğrul) premieres in 1953, Kanun Namına / In the Name of Law (Lütfi Ö. Akad) is selected best film at Film Enthusiasts Association festival, and Atıf Yılmaz' Kerime Nadir adaptation of Hıçkırık / The Sigh attains huge success.
A Song to Long For is Zeki Müren's first film, and Cahide Sonku is almost everything to the film: lead actress, co-director, producer, as Müren testifies, 'she even applied my first make-up herself––in front of maybe 50 people on set, she first put on the base and then the yellowish powder, thus complimenting me.' Written by celebrated operetta writer Sadık Şendil, the film also stars Bedia Muvahhit as Müren's mother, and Jeyan Ayral Tözüm (credited as Jeyan M. Ayral) as his lover. Müren, who is also the film's 'music director,' briefly describes A Song to Long For as 'a musical and exciting film that expresses the close combat of a former musician's only son with a myriad hardships and the deepest impression of his love of music on his soul.'
Müren has composed the titular song, a classical Turkish song in the nihavend form and waltz style that was recorded on shellac record the same year. The lyrics were written by Müren's textile design instructor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Sabih Gözen. The song was so popular that it was later used by cadets at the Military Academy during the 19 May national holiday shows, though restricted by the TRT for a short time in 1954. Although not customary at the time, the names of featured reputable musicians such as Sadi Işılay, Cevdet Çağla, Yorgo Bacanos, and Emin Ongan were included in the credits. In addition to Müren's titular song, the compositions of Bimen Şen, Musa Süreyya, İbrahim Efendi, Sadi Işılay, and Nevres Paşa were also featured in the film.
Though film critic Çetin A Özkırım likens Müren's performance to that of 'a rich brat's at year end's talent show,' A Song to Long For was a huge box-office success. Zeki Müren, as mentioned in the İşte Benim 'Zeki Müren' exhibition catalogue edited by Derya Bengi, acted in 18 feature films in the 18 years between 1953 and 1971, almost exclusively playing Zeki. As he insisted on dubbing himself, he became the only singer to dub himself in Turkish cinema, as he did in all his later films. Thanks to its popularity, A Song to Long For started the second wave of films with songs, following Münir Nurettin's era. In spite of the film's triumphant success, Cahide Sonku and Zeki Müren sued each other after the film's completion, and never met again, let alone collaborate.
Zeynep Dadak states that 'Zeki Müren’s own story of his beginnings is very similar to the story of the Zeki character he is in the film. Just like in real life, Zeki replaces the radio diva who has fallen sick, and captivates everyone with his voice. It’s hard to know which came first: Zeki Müren or his myth. In Turkey, A Song to Long For became one of the most popular examples of films starring singers.'