This was a film I really wanted to love, I adore Verdi's opera and Renata Tebaldi, Ebe Stignani and Gino Becchi a great deal. This Aida was interesting in a sense for historical value, but it didn't work for me.
Granted, despite the score being cut/shortened, the music is brilliant. Renata Tebaldi sings Aida absolutely wonderfully, Ebe Stignani is a compelling Amneris and Gino Becchi a powerful Amonasro. Rhadames is sung very nicely too, Guilio Neri is one of the better Ramfis's I've heard and Sophia Loren looks beautiful and gives her all to what she's got.
However, the film does look dated. The costumes are alright, but the sets in alternative to grand are rather cheesy and the editing and picture quality look tacky. Despite such amazing music and singing, the film feels rather dull, some of the best dramatic elements are either cut or badly underplayed especially the Bass-Tenor chorus ensemble, the choreography looks unimaginative, the lip-synching is pretty much a disaster with the lip movements rarely being in sync to the singing, and there are some unnecessary added scenes too which add nothing to the story. The on-screen acting apart from Loren and perhaps Afro Poli is lacking too, Rhadames is bland and seemingly unheroic, but Lois Maxwell fares worse, her acting throughout is very awkward.
All in all, rather disappointing. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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