Robert will do anything to get the big account that has eluded him. His public relations business makes public angels of rich scoundrels. Jean needs someone to save the paper and she wants ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
Damon Vincenti, a young vineyard worker, has a beautiful tenor voice and dreams of becoming a great opera singer. He debuts at Lardelli's Italian restaurant in San Francisco, where he is ... See full summary »
Based on James Barrie's play "Alice Sit-By-The-Fire". In turn-of-the-century New York, a young girl who believes she's learned "the seamy side of life" from a risque play takes it upon ... See full summary »
The main story combines bits of Giovanni Boccaccio's own life (maybe and maybe not) with three of his most fabulous stories of love. It has Boccaccio following Fiametta to a country villa ... See full summary »
Two brothers, Ben and Clint, join a cattle drive from Texas to Montana. While heading for Texas they save Nella from the Indians, and she decides to ride with them. Ben and Nella start to ... See full summary »
John Kent (Monte Blue') wins the Olympic decathlon but is disqualified on a charge of professionalism. William Stevens (Kenneth Harlan), the second-place finisher, is awarded the title and ... See full summary »
Socially prominent Michael Ashburn, is the chief assistant to Rufus Trent, wealthy London loan broker. He has allowed himself to become engaged to the Rufus' daughter, Roberta, the match ... See full summary »
Derrick De Marney,
"Music for Madam" is a light film from RKO starring opera singer Nino Martini and Joan Fontaine. It's fascinating to note that in the 1930s-1950s, opera was used in film plots and opera singers were hired for the movies. Then suddenly, it all stopped, even as musical films continued in popularity for a time after. The last attempt, a disaster, was Pavarotti in "Yes, Giorgio." What happened? Good question. But I'm sure if you took a poll, opera attendance in the U.S. is way down. I would venture to say cultural pastimes can't compete with the likes of the Kardashians, bubblegum music, and Honey Boo-Boo.
Martini plays a naive tenor Nino Maretti who comes to Hollywood to make it in the movies. While he's singing on the bus, some thieves planning to rob valuable pearls at the home of a famous film impresario a la Stokowski (Alan Mowbray) decide he's just the ticket to distract the guests while they do their pilfering.
After telling Nino that they can make him a star with their connections, they throw him in a clown costume and clown makeup and have him sing Vesti la giubba, giving them a chance to steal the pearls. At first, everyone wants to know his identity and several want to sign him to lucrative contracts.
Several minutes later, they think he helped steal the pearls. With no name and no look at his real face, they can't find him. And poor Nino, as a wanted man, can't cash in on his success. Broke and despondent, he is befriended by a lovely young composer (Fontaine) who attended the party to present her music to the maestro. Nino falls for her but can't tell her what happened.
Martini possessed a beautiful lyric tenor voice which he exhibits here, and also shared with audiences from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Though he was a lyric tenor, for some reason in those days lyrics often tended to heavier repertoire, as he did, singing some Verdi and Puccini, though the works of Donizetti and Rossini were really his specialty. Here, we get to hear part of Una furtiva lagrima, which was right up his alley.
It's a nice film, worth it to hear Martini and see a very young and pretty Joan Fontaine.
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