Tino Rossi's movies are ,by and large,vehicles for his songs and the other male actors serve most of the time as foils to him.
"Son Dernier Noel" is a different matter ,for it's got a decent screenplay,which many will dismiss as mawkish ,as maudlin ;it is admittedly a pure melodrama,full of finer feelings ,but no one would blame Frank Capra for that.
Here ,the director is neither Capra nor Sirk ,but he did his best to make up for his obvious lack of means .
And the screenplay is not that derivative:a little girl suffers from Hodgkins' disease ,she knows that soon she is going to die and she wish she could live till next Xmas ;but when the good physician looks at the calendar ,it reads :November 20th.So why not bringing forward the celebration?
If the trick should succeed,all the people on the street must make their peace with one another.And not let the cat out of the bag.
Marc Damiani ,an easy-listening star ,is persona non grata in this street where he used to live when he was a child ;but he's got all the kids around on his side,and of course,he did nothing wrong.
Rossi's songs are sometimes filler ,and only the beautiful song he performs with a choir of boys enhances the movie:no,it's not his perennial "Petit Papa Noel" -see "Destins" for that one- ,but a less known title called "Petite Etoile De Noel".One should note that ,like in "La cage Aux Rossignols" remade as "Les Choristes" ,these brats are "Professional" singers ("Les Petits Chanteurs A La Croix De Bois") Their leader ,who was not a singer,is played by Georges Poujouly ,the little star of René Clément's "Jeux Interdits" (same year) and later of Louis Malle's " Ascenseur Pour L' Echafaud" (1957)
Sometimes the movie has biblical accents: the hostess (and semi-whore's) daughter buys a perfume bottle for the sick girlie ,like the sinner of the gospels ,and all the men laugh at her.
All in all,it 's still a good film for the whole family and it's pretty commendable;do not forget your box of Kleenex.
Like this? Try this.....
"L'Arbre De Noel" Terence Young ,1969.
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