Eternal bachelor Lupo plays the comical presenter to the musical acts in his own Italian restaurant 'Serenade Café' in New York, but operatic singer Gina is not amused, she throws him out of her dressing room- the more she insults him, the crazier the old fool gets about her. To keep him off she insists her husband must be an opera singer, so he is easily duped by Ierra, who hits on with Gina himself and ships Lupo off to his Italian cahoot, musical teacher Marcello, for lessons- actually he is so bad that even the dog runs off, and after they bribe the local opera to give him a tiny part, the sound-tortured audience chases him for his life. He passes out but is found and taken in by a winegrowers family, which gives him confidence and a killer voice... Written by
The opera song the mediocre female singer sings who ends up dating "Lupo" (Dangerfield) to further her career (since he owns a famous restaurant), is the same tune written for Citizen Kane (1941) in which the main character, buys his "trophy" girl an opera house. See more »
When the bartender is talking to the server about how much Rodney is in love, his white shirt collar tucks itself under his black vest between shots. See more »
Don't shoot! Don't shoot! I won't sing anymore, I promise!
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Do you find Rodney Dangerfield amusing? Would you like to see an entertaining Dangerfield film? Then avoid THE 4TH TENOR. It is a pitiful vanity project where Rodney generally neglects his strengths and wallows in sickening bathos.
As a prosperous Italian restaurant owner named Lupo, Dangerfield falls in love with a young luscious singer Gina (Annabelle Gurwitch). She doesn't return his affections, especially since Lupo can't sing opera. So he goes to Italy to take opera lessons. There, he meets a sweet local girl named Rosa (Anita De Simone) and learns the secret of great singing. Will Lupo find true love? Who really cares?
Part of the problem with THE 4TH TENOR is that Dangerfield is far less interested in generating laughs than in endearing himself to his audience. Rarely does he spew his customary one-liners. Instead he spends an awful lot of time acting lovelorn and wistful. But his strivings for sentimentality are so humorless and effortful, he becomes embarrassingly cloying. Even more disturbing is the concept of the geriatric, physically homely Dangerfield romancing women young enough to be his granddaughters. Part of the appeal in Dangerfield's stand-up act was that he acknowledged he was ugly and therefore unsuccessful with women. If he wanted to be a romantic lead in his dotage, why couldn't Rodney pursue women his own age?
The pedestrian supporting cast cannot enliven the dreary material. They are the type of bland performers you'd expect in a film deemed too poor for theatrical release.
THE 4TH TENOR is truly a morbid experience. One watches an embalmed looking man who, in attempting to touch our hearts, dies in the course of his performance, a once bright star whose career has been dying. If this is the best Rodney can offer, it's time for him to retire.
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