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For the First Time (1959)

Unrated | | Musical | 26 August 1959 (USA)
The brilliance of one of the world's most beloved tenors and the exciting world of opera highlight this delightful romantic adventure set in the most beautiful cities of Europe. Tonio Costa... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Tonio Costa
...
Christa
...
Ladislas Tabory
...
Prof. Bruckner (as Hans Sonker)
...
Mathilde Faktotum
Sandro Giglio ...
Alessandro
...
Dr. Bessart
Renzo Cesana ...
Angelo
...
Leopold Hübner
Gisella Mathews
Michael Cosmo ...
Aldo
Carlo Rizzo
John Stein
Manfred Schaeffer ...
(as Manfred Schaffer)
...
Gloria De Vadnuz
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Storyline

The brilliance of one of the world's most beloved tenors and the exciting world of opera highlight this delightful romantic adventure set in the most beautiful cities of Europe. Tonio Costa (Mario Lanza), the temperamental darling of the opera world, is forever missing performances because of impromptu street concerts and endless parties. But Tonio's carefree ways change when he falls in love with Christa, a beautiful deaf girl. Christa refuses to marry him until she can hear his sublime voice. So they embark upon a whirlwind concert tour of Europe where Christa consults with specialists while Tonio sings his heart out. Their love grows stronger and they realize that as long as they are together they can face whatever the future holds. Lush, exotic locations, fabulous operatic performances and the magic of Mario Lanza give this sparkling love story the look and sound of enchantment. Written by Anonymous

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Taglines:

His NEW Singing Romance!

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

26 August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Sänger von Capri  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film of Mario Lanza. See more »

Quotes

Gloria De Vadnuz: Oh, shut up! Tonio Costa's a great singer, a fine gentlemen and one of my *most* intimate friends.
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Soundtracks

Ich Liebe Dich
(uncredited)
Music by Edvard Grieg
Sung by Mario Lanza
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User Reviews

 
Making Up For The Year Of Silence
28 February 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Released two months before his demise, For The First Time proved to be Mario Lanza's last film. While it's not the young Lanza in his prime, booming out Be My Love, it's still a good film to go out on. It's a Cinderella type fairy tale of a concert singer/Prince Charming who meets and falls for a deaf girl and spends his time looking to cure her affliction.

One thing For The First Time has going for it are those European locations, especially the fabulous Isle of Capri. Capri is one of those places in the world where you cannot film anything that won't be beautiful. Ranks right up there with the Grecian Isles and Hawaii in that regard. Paramount would also use Capri around the same time for the Clark Gable-Sophia Loren film, It Started In Naples also with gratifying results.

The deaf girl who Lanza falls for precisely because she can't hear him and isn't groupie material is played by German actress Johanna Von Koczian who's had a distinguished career in German cinema to this day. She's billed as 'introducing Johanna Von Koczian' but she's only being introduced here to American audiences. Walter Rilla as the hearing specialist who operates and cures her and Hans Bohnker as Von Koczian's uncle, are also from the German film industry. Most of the rest of the cast is Italian. Of course with the exceptions of Kurt Kaszner as Lanza's manager and Zsa Zsa Gabor as Zsa Zsa under any name.

Mario too is Mario under any name. He always was himself because the audiences came to hear him sing, they didn't expect Hamlet from him. For The First Time has a good mix of classical and popular songs. Highlights are Come Prima which Lanza introduced and which sold a few records for him on RCA Victor Red Seal label and O Sole Mio which he sings at Sandra Giglio's wedding.

Lanza was in training at the time of his death on October 7, 1959 to finally go into grand opera. A hint of what he could have done is in the arias he does from Otello and the triumphal march from Aida which is a great piece of DeMille like spectacle in opera. He's just fabulous in both.

Back in the days of The Odd Couple I remember an episode where Felix says to Oscar he wants the triumphal march from Aida played at his funeral as his casket is paraded seven times around the cemetery before the planting. As an opera lover, I'm sure Felix must have seen For The First Time and was influenced.

If he heard Mario Lanza sing it, it sounds like a plan.


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