Fifteen-year-old Katri Walenska jumps a Polish ship, swims ashore and enters New York illegally. The United States Immigration officials are alerted---the USA still had a functioning ...
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Fifteen-year-old Katri Walenska jumps a Polish ship, swims ashore and enters New York illegally. The United States Immigration officials are alerted---the USA still had a functioning immigration policy and department when this was filmed---and the search is on. Katri's only possessions are a ten-dollar bill and a letter to her parents' old friend, Jan Poldi, a former Metropolitan Opera star. She finds him in a shabby Greenwich Village apartment. His neighbors in the apartment house are three Broadway hopefuls; pop singer Terry Brennan, hoofer Buddy Fraser and Homer Tirdell and his talented dog Red Dust. (Pardon me, make that four Broadway hopefuls counting the dog.) When Terry hears Katri's magnificent singing voice, she scurries around New York to get her an audition and succeeds in getting her a spot on Don Wilson's televised amateur hour. She wins the contest but unwittingly reveals her true identity as an illegal alien, which causes the arrest of Poldi, Wilson and Dave, Terry's ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As an opera and musicals fan, 'The Stars are Singing' may be imperfect but it is a treat for the most part and interesting to see Wagnerian heldentenor Lauritz Melchior and a very young Anna Maria Alberghetti on film as well as the film debut for Rosmary Clooney.
Clooney is splendid, with great comic timing and her solo songs are performed and staged with a lot of exuberance (especially "Come On-A My House"). In his final film, Melchior is in thrilling voice and is a warm, cuddly and amusing presence, his "Vesti La Giubba" is heart-wrenching. This is very much Alberghetti's film however, she personifies radiance and charm and she sings divinely singing repertoire beyond her years (how many women in their late teens even try and attempt 'Lucia Di Lammermoor's' "Mad Scene"?) in a way but she shows no signs of sounding taxed.
'The Stars are Singing' is particularly worth seeing for them, and also for two other primary things. One being the charming sisterly chemistry between Clooney and Alberghetti, and the other being the music, the operatic excerpts are infinitely more memorable but the songs are pleasant and full of energy. They are staged with fun and emotion.
It is a nice-looking film too, beautifully photographed in Technicolor and the sets and fashions are equally attractive. Norman Taurog directs with skill and at a good pace. Most of the script is gently witty and emotive.
However, Bob Williams drags the film whenever he appears, his rapport with the lethargic dog bores rather than endears and his performance just feels annoying. John Archer is also dull, while the story is contrived and at times routine outside of the musical scenes.
In summary, not perfect but a nice film all the same. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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