EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
(director: Anthony Mann; screenwriters: based on the novel
by James M. Cain/Ivan Goff/Ben Roberts/John Twist;
cinematographer: J. Peverell Manley; editor: William
Ziegler; music: Sammy Cahn-lyrics/Nicholas Brodszky-score;
cast: Mario Lanza (Damon
Vincente), Joan Fontaine (Kendall Hale), Vincent
Price (Charles Winthrop), Sarita Montiel (Juana Montes), Joseph Calleia (Maestro Marcatello),
Harry Bellaver (Tonio), Vince Edwards (Marco Roselli), Silvio
Runtime: 121; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Henry
Blanke; Warner Brothers; 1956)
tearjerker romantic drama directed with skill by the
great Anthony Mann."
by Dennis Schwartz
sentimental tearjerker romantic drama directed with
skill by the great Anthony Mann ("T-Men"/"Desperate"/"Raw
Deal"), but still a bust despite his artistic touches.
It's loosely based on a novel by James M. Cain. Here the love
interest is a female socialite, in the book the opera
star has a homosexual affair.
California vineyard worker Damon Vincente (Mario
Lanza, real-life opera star) is sponsored to be an
opera singer by a manipulative socialite named Kendall
Hale (Joan Fontaine). Damon goes from
rags-to-riches, but his downfall comes when he falls
in love with Kendall. Unfortunately she grows bored
with the singer and dumps him. This causes Damon to
choke when auditioning for the Met. So he splits for
Mexico and suffers from some kind of debilitating malaria
disease. To the rescue comes Juana (Sarita
Montiel), the beautiful daughter of a bullfighter, and
the good lady gets the singer back on track to
The script by Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts and John Twist is absurd. But Lanza's tenor voice is booming, and his decent singing performance at least makes things listenable (songs include "Serenade," "Ave Maria" and "My Destiny"). There's also Vincent Price around for those who appreciate his sinister charms, who plays with aplomb a sardonic famous concert promoter and the first musical professional to recognize that the vineyard worker was a gifted opera singer.
REVIEWED ON 6/24/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ