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If there's one thing MR. IMPERIUM has going for it, it's the delight of hearing EZIO PINZA's strong bass do justice to a few pleasant songs, most of which he sings while serenading LANA TURNER, who's principal job in this one is to stand around and look beautiful while Pinza's voice takes over the soundtrack with gusto.
Other than that, it's a fanciful story that's been used hundreds of times before--a commoner (Lana) falls in love with a prince (Pinza) and their on again/off again romance ends with a bittersweet decision on his part to return to his kingdom when it needs him. That's about it for a storyline--and along the way MGM gave the stars a supporting cast that includes BARRY SULLIVAN, SIR CEDRIC HARDWICKE, MARJORIE MAIN and DEBBIE REYNOLDS, all of whom have very little to do.
It's been given a glittering MGM look with Technicolor visuals straight out of a storybook and the usual lavish care given to sets and costumes. Turner looks lovely and gives a warm and capable performance, but the lip synching in the opening number is a bit obvious. (Fran Warren supplies her singing voice).
The script is flimsy, and doesn't get the same amount of attention as the art direction and costumes, so it's easy to forget this trifle as soon as it's over. It does provide pleasant but artificial entertainment while it lasts.
Worst flaw: There's very little chemistry between Turner and Pinza who was in his late fifties when this was filmed and never did click in his screen career.
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