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Mary Barrett is an aspiring Opera singer who is taken under the wings of a famous operatic maestro, Guilio Monterverdi. After spending endless working hours together and arguing, their relationship develops into love. But, jealousy and misunderstandings prevent Mary and Guilio from acknowledging their true feelings. Written by
Grace Moore had trouble duplicating 'Un bel di' aria from "Madame Butterfly" during filming as she couldn't hit the high notes. She flew into a rage and blamed the orchestra for hindering her. Columbia studio head 'Harry Cohn' asked his musical director Morris Stoloff what seemed to be the problem. Stoloff replied that the orchestra was fine and that they were playing the original Puccini orchestrations - implying that Moore herself was at fault. She was then told either to return to the recording stage or she would have to pay a day's salary to the entire orchestra. Moore duly returned and successfully recorded the song. See more »
Grace Moore's Oscar-nominated role in very dated musical...
Unlike MGM's favorite soprano, JEANETTE MacDONALD, other singers from the Met tried screen careers at various times in the '30s, but none emerged winning enough as screen personalities to rival Jeanette. Columbia tried hard with GRACE MOORE and this is undoubtedly one of her better efforts at attaining screen stardom.
TULLIO CARMINATI is amusingly persistent as her demanding voice coach who discovers her singing "Ciribiribin" in a cellar cafe before offering to become her tutor. LYLE TALBOT is her boyfriend with marriage on his mind.
But the silly script has Miss Moore acting like a spoiled prima donna, cavorting with boyfriend Talbot while supposedly training for her big moment as "Carmen". A series of misunderstandings involving another woman, MONA BARRIE (strongly resembling Kay Francis), makes up much of the backstage part of the story and only weakens the overall film.
Moore is fine whenever she's singing but the lip synch is way off during the final "Un Bel Di" and it's hard to see where her performance earned her an Oscar nomination for the acting part of her role.
Summing up: A disappointment for me, regardless of glowing tributes from the other commentators on this particular film.
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