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If Grace Moore were still alive I'm sure she'd have been pleased that
she was tributed by another great soprano in the person of Kathryn
Grayson. But she'd probably wonder where are all the songs that she
Probably because the two American studios that she worked for, first MGM and then Columbia held all the copyrights and Jack Warner wasn't about to shell out some big bucks for One Night Of Love, Love Me Forever and I'll Take Romance for his film. It makes me wonder why his studio chose Grace Moore as the subject of a biographical film.
The problem was somewhat solved by taking her story up to 1928, the year she made her Metropolitan Opera debut. All these songs were in the future. But they also managed to select a list of popular songs that she wasn't identified with at all. I did a bit of research on the subject and confirmed it. The only song that Grayson sings in So This Is Love that is both not operatic and identified with Grace Moore is Ciribiribin, cheerfully for Jack Warner in the public domain.
The story we get as far as it goes is that of young Grace Moore, born in Slabtown, raised in Jellico, Tennessee who had a burning ambition to sing. Nothing stood in her way and we see a few broken hearts like Merv Griffin's and Douglas Dick's left by the wayside. What's not shown here is that Grace Moore was every inch southern born and bred and that includes a few negatives I think you can figure out.
What Grace Moore was however was one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century. She conquered five mediums, the musical stage, grand opera, recordings, radio, and film. The last three get no mention at all. She was the most popular selling classical artist between Enrico Caruso and Mario Lanza on record, she was a Hollywood star as I said before later in her career, and she appeared numerous times on radio on the Bell Telephone Hour. Not touching on any of that in So This Is Love does Moore an injustice.
Her life story would make a compelling film if the real story were told and maybe Columbia could do it and dub her voice to a current actress. There are surely none around like Kathryn Grayson who could actually sing those songs.
SO THIS IS LOVE is said to be based on a biography of singer Grace
Moore, but it only touches on her early life and determination to
become an opera singer, up until her New York City debut at the
Metropolitan Opera House in "La Boheme." Before it reaches that point,
it gives KATHRYN GRAYSON a chance to sing a variety of songs in
coloratura style, but since the story does not cover Miss Moore's
Hollywood career at all, many of her most well-known songs had to be
omitted. Instead, we get a sprinkling of a few opera numbers and many
other pop standards, all of them suitable for Grayson's voice. She's in
fine form vocally and delivers all of the songs with her customary
charm and grace.
MERV GRIFFIN, before his celebrity and TV fame, makes his second appearance in a movie as one of Miss Moore's admirers and gets to warble "I Kiss Your Hand Madame" while doing a nice job on the vocals. WALTER ABEL and ANN DORAN play Grayson's parents, not at all thrilled that she wants to leave her small town life for a fling at stardom in the big city.
Grayson has a role that is tailor-made for her own background as a singer. DOUGLAS DICK is rather colorless as another disappointed suitor who can't compete with her operatic ambitions, but FORTUNIO BONANOVA is excellent as a sympathetic voice coach who makes sure that she takes proper care of her throat condition before returning to him for his coaching.
The story simply ends with her first appearance at the Met as Mimi in "La Boheme." Opera fans should enjoy this tribute to Miss Moore, and fans of Miss Grayson should appreciate the care taken to photograph her in beautiful close-ups while she takes aim at arias by Gounod and Puccini.
This seems to be fairly accurate as a biopic. certainly, the sequence
where Grace Moore's vocal trauma was dealt with appeared to follow the
events and treatment described in You're Only Human Once, Moore's
1953 was a year in which two American singers starred in filmed tributes to stars of earlier times: Patrice Munsel played the title role in the British production of Melba, and Kathryn Grayson made a convincing and entertaining Grace Moore for Warners.
So This Is Love is a film that many people may find enjoyable, and seems to have been a worthy attempt by both the star and the studio to pay their sincere respects to Grace Moore, herself an outstanding figure in stage and film work. Hopefully it may soon be available on DVD or whatever the new formats may be.
I saw this film many years ago and would love to see it again. I also
wish it were available in DVD. It is the true story of Grace Moore, who
was born in Tennessee in 1898. She was a singer of Broadway musicals,
an opera star, and a lovely lady Florenz Ziegfeld described as "the
most beautiful woman in the world." Tragically, Miss Moore was killed
in a plane crash in Copenhagen, Denmark, in January 1947. Also on board
was a member of the Danish royal family. In the nearly six decades
after her death, Miss Moore's talent lives on in the recordings of her
I hope this film will be appreciated by today's young people and that they will learn valuable lessons from it.
Kathryn Grayson portrays singer Grace Moore in "So This is Love," a
1953 musical biography. Merv Griffin, of all people, plays one of her
suitors. The film also features Douglas Dick, Jeff Donnell, Joan
Weldon, Walter Abel, Ann Doran, and Rosemary DeCamp.
As pointed out in other reviews, this is a small part of Moore's story, concerning her early life and her efforts to become an opera star. The film also shows her Broadway success, but fails to show that she introduced the song "What'll I Do." And it completely leaves out her film career, which went from 1930 to 1939.
Moore was a lyric soprano and strongly tied to French repertoire, specifically Manon and Louise, as well as La Boheme; eventually she went into more spinto repertoire with Tosca. In films, she sang arias from Madama Butterfly and "Casta Diva" from Norma. All of which is to say that she and coloratura Kathryn Grayson did not share much repertoire. The music performed in the film, therefore, is more suited to Grayson's voice.
Kathryn Grayson does a lovely job as Moore. She's very pretty and her voice is in good shape as the ambitious singer Moore, and she's effective in the musical comedy numbers as well as the operatic ones. I don't know that her singing of "Mi chiamano Mimi" would have garnered her a standing ovation from a Metropolitan Opera audience, but the aria was put into the film as Mimi was Moore's Met debut. It's not really right for Grayson's voice.
Moore died in a plane crash in 1947, and I can't imagine a biopic today leaving that out. This film concentrates on music and the driving ambition of a young girl determined to make it on the opera stage. On that basis, it's entertaining.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This would easily have been a **** film had it gone through Miss
Moore's entire life and included her tragic death in a 1947 plane
As shown, the picture is out of this world. It tells us of the ups and downs of her early career as she attempted to attain her goal at singing at the Met.
This goal played havoc in her personal life as she sacrificed marriage between 2 men. One of them was nicely played by Merv Griffin. We have all long forgotten that Griffin started off in the movies and had a nice singing voice. In this film, he portrays Buddy Nash, her first true love and victim of her ambition. The part is brief but memorable.
Kathryn Grayson really delivers here as Grace Moore. Her elegant voice shines once more and she really was adept in her portrayal of a Broadway luminary as well.
Why did they have to end a beautiful film once that Met goal was achieved? The movie could have gone on for at least another hour. 1:37 did not do justice to the likes of Grace Moore. We could say, So There Needed to be much more of Moore.
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