An orphan (Eight-year-old boy soprano Bobby Breen) gets a chance to sing opera in New York

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Billy Gordon
...
Joe Pasquale
...
Leon Alba
Vivienne Osborne ...
Rosa Donelli
...
Jim 'Diablo' Wilkins
...
Marge Wilkins
...
Supt. Henry Perkins
...
Carter
Clay Clement ...
Jackson
...
Alice Alba
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Storyline

An orphan (Eight-year-old boy soprano Bobby Breen) gets a chance to sing opera in New York

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

opera | See All (1) »

Genres:

Musical

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Release Date:

8 May 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cantemos Outra Vez  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

| (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The earliest documented telecast of this film in New York City occurred Monday 26 May 1947 on WNBT (Channel 4). See more »

Soundtracks

Lullaby
Music by Hugo Riesenfeld
Lyrics by Selma Hautzik
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User Reviews

 
An Opportunity To Enjoy A Young Singer Who Merits Greater Exposure To Audiences.
12 January 2008 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

There are no pretensions toward cinematic greatness in evidence from the producers of this first of eight black and white RKO musicals that showcase the arresting eight year old boy soprano Bobby Breen, yet reception accorded it by an entertainment starved public that was grappling with the Great Depression was so laudatory that the succeeding seven works tended to concentrate more upon Breen rather than upon other cast members. Born in the Canadian province of Quebec, Bobby was fortunate in having his sister Sally recognize his innate talent, becoming his voice coach, and despite being somewhat isolated from most United States audiences, he began performing while only at the age of three years in a Toronto night club, committed to weekly appearances there for nearly two years as he burnished his coloratura, afterwards junketing, as a five year old show business veteran, south to Chicago, New York, and on to fame as a regular before live audiences upon Eddie Cantor's highly popular weekly radio program. In this film that initiated the series, Leon (George Houston) and Alice (Ann Doran) Alba are residing in Naples, Italy, in 1928, but Alice has wearied of their austere existence that is owed to her baritone husband's faltering operatic career, and she leaves him, taking along their infant son, returning to her native United States, where viewers will find the boy (Breen) eight years after, living in a Mapleton, Connecticut, orphanage since his mother has died and no one knows of his father's whereabouts. Two years after the youngster is placed at the orphanage, a circus, Carter's Travelling Theatre, visits Mapleton, and the lad, now called Billy Gordon, manages to escape in order to attend the troupe's performance, subsequently running with the Carter company, being looked after by a comedic performer, Joseph Pasquale (Henry Armetta), a once renowned operatic tenor who, although vocally washed up, instructs the runaway in the fine points of vocal technique to augment Billy's inherent skills. A married pair of Carter acrobats, Jim (Grant Withers) and Marge (Inez Courtney) Wilkins attempts to appropriate Billy's gift of song by legally adopting him. This expectedly creates a conflict with Pasquale and, to make the affair even more complicated, Billy's father Leon, now a widely recognized soloist touring throughout the United States, seeks assistance from "The Missing Persons Bureau" as he attempts to locate his long-lost son. Heavy cutting gives the work a quality of narrative compression resulting in a film having few memorable scenes or performances, although Houston and Breen effectively employ their material, the latter with renditions of Verdi's La donna è mobile from Rigoletto, the traditional Santa Lucia, and the title number, penned by Jimmy McHugh and Gus Kahn, while father and son separately and nicely sing a lullaby composed for the film by Hugo Riesenfeld. Direction is uneven and continuity at times glaringly substandard, but there is some sparse footage of routine circus activity that is realistically depicted. Withers gains the acting laurels here as a conniving acrobat. Digitally restored and reissued by Critics' Choice, LET'S SING AGAIN is coupled with RAINBOW ON THE RIVER, the second (and better) Breen film for a DVD version that unfortunately reverses the synopses of the two productions that are printed upon the DVD case.


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