For the First Time (1959)

Unrated  |   |  Musical  |  26 August 1959 (USA)
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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 overview:
Tonio Costa
Johanna von Koczian ...
Ladislas Tabory
Hans Söhnker ...
Prof. Bruckner (as Hans Sonker)
Mathilde Faktotum
Sandro Giglio ...
Walter Rilla ...
Dr. Bessart
Renzo Cesana ...
Peter Capell ...
Leopold Hübner
Gisella Mathews
Michael Cosmo ...
Carlo Rizzo
John Stein
Manfred Schaeffer ...
(as Manfred Schaffer)
Gloria De Vadnuz


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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Release Date:

26 August 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Por primera vez  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


While names are being read by judge after the bar brawl, Lanza's characters name is called, the next name called is his real name Alfred Cocozza See more »


Munchen Lied
Music and Lyrics by Karl Bette
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User Reviews

6 September 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This MGM film showcases the great Mario Lanza, whose untimely death came right after this film was completed. It's a vehicle for the star, who had one of the most powerful tenor voices in the cinema. As such, "For the First Time" is an excuse to present its star in different European settings in a picture that is more of a travelogue than a musical.

Rudolph Mate directed with an eye for the backgrounds being shown. We are taken to that magical island of Capri, then to Salzburg, among other places that go by too quickly. The DVD we watched had a faded look, and one can only guess the original copy had glorious colors.

Mario Lanza plays an opera singer who goes to Capri to stay away from the scandal he caused at the Vienna Opera house for not showing for a performance, when in reality, he was outside entertaining the people that couldn't get inside. In Capri he meets sweet Christa, who happens to be deaf. They fall in love and she will not marry him unless she can hear him. Naturally, like in all fairy tales, everything comes true and everyone is happy at the end.

Mario Lanza has some good moments in the film. He sings arias from Pagliacci, Aida and Othelo, as well as the theme song, "Come prima", in his usual style. Johanna Von Koczian is seen as Christa, the sweet girl who conquers Tonio Costa's heart. Kurt Kasznar plays Tonio's agent.

This is a happy film without any pretensions. It's not Mr. Lanza's best film, but for all his fans it will be something to savor.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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