This is one of the most beautiful films ever made of an opera. Everyone knows the story of Cio Cio San, the Japanese geisha who braves social rejection to marry American naval officer B. F. Pinkerton, only to be abandoned and rejected by him. After he returns with his "real" American wife to claim the child, the devastated girl chooses suicide to save her honor. Giacomo Puccini's score is always moving, but this production really looks right and shines beautifully especially when seen in an original IB Technicolor print. I remember first seeing it as a teenager and being turned on to opera as a result. Cio Cio San looks thoroughly convincing as played by Kaoru Yachigusa. Her singing is dubbed by Orietta Moscucci. Pinkerton is played by Nicola Filacuridi and sung by Giovanni Campora. The chorus and orchestra of the Rome Opera are led by Oliviero de Fabritiis. It is a version of the opera that should be much more widely seen today. I believe the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, California owns a 35mm print, perhaps the only copy in America.
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