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Ave Maria (1936)

Passed | | Drama, Music | 21 August 1936 (Germany)
An opera singer has had one great love in his life, that for a devoted french-girl who died. He comes to Paris for his annual visit to her grave on the anniversary of her death, but is ... See full summary »


Johannes Riemann


Georg C. Klaren (story and screenplay) (as Dr. George Klaren)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Beniamino Gigli ... Tino Dossi
Käthe von Nagy ... Claudette, Chansonette
Harald Paulsen ... Michel
Paul Henckels ... Amadeo Winkler
Erna Berger ... Violetta (segment "La Traviata" sequence)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carl Auen ... Arzt im Unfallkrankenhaus
Roly Bock Roly Bock ... Konzertbesucher
Curt Cappi Curt Cappi ... Priester
Max Harry Ernst Max Harry Ernst ... Konzertbesucher
Eva Genschow Eva Genschow ... Konzertbesucherin
Emmerich Hanus Emmerich Hanus ... Blumenlieferant
Hedi Heising Hedi Heising ... Konzertbesucherin (as Hedy Heyssing)
Herbert Hübner ... Konzertdirektor in Paris
Jutta Jol Jutta Jol ... Nonne
Katrin Karina Katrin Karina


An opera singer has had one great love in his life, that for a devoted french-girl who died. He comes to Paris for his annual visit to her grave on the anniversary of her death, but is forced to go through with a concert his manager had arranged without his knowledge. The manager visits a shady night club and, while intoxicated, drops information to a hard-boiled entertainer and her gigolo of the singers' great sorrow and wealth. The wealth part impresses the pair. The girl meets and accompanies the singer to Naples, after playing on his sympathies with lies and deception. The singer and the girl announce their engagement, but he discovers her duplicity and she, now genuinely in love with him, flees the consequences. She is injured in an automobile accident and the singer, having learned of her repentance and true affectation for him, takes her for his bride. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Drama | Music


Passed | See all certifications »

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Alternate Versions

The original German production featured all vocal numbers sung in Italian. For Italian release, the dialogue was dubbed into Italian to match the singing, except for Claudette's song in the cabaret, which was dubbed into French. Both versions were then prepared with English subtitles for export. See more »

User Reviews

The Greatest Tenor In The World Ever!
29 August 2010 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

Who was actually the generally accepted Greatest Tenor In The World when Groucho & Chico Marx were supposedly negotiating his services in their 1936 film A Night At The Opera? After Enrico Caruso had died in 1921 Beniamino Gigli had been elevated to that position by the American public and (eventually) critics alike, a position he held to the mid '50's. A personal opinion: just for one example, Pavorotti was a sublime singer but even he never attained Gigli's subtlety, the "honeyed-tones", the depths of emotion; Gigli was as unique as Lanza - and Pavorotti - were in other ways. He started touring the world relentlessly from 1932 on after 12 years with the Metropolitan Opera in New York but still had the time to make a few films, none of which were artistic achievements however all of which were vehicles to show off and hear his wonderful voice. He was constantly surprised that he had a "film career". He filmed this throughout May 1936 in Berlin in both German and Italian versions.

The IMDb plot summary tells all – famous singer still grieving for dead wife after years is lined up as sucker for scheming cabaret singer and her … mentor; on the way she comes to respect the singer and change her plans. Gigli was well aware he was no Valentino and not really an actor, but his honesty shone through and he carried the picture - the songs were the main thing after all! Now, the excellent Bel Canto DVD has both versions with English subtitles and in both original and restored audio – you have to choose for yourself which you prefer, at present my personal choice being the Italian with original sound, slightly less choppy but with Gigli's speaking voice dubbed by an actor. The quality of the sound Mark Obert-Thorn got from Gigli's records for his various CD remaster projects over the last 20 years was generally astounding, but I'm afraid he wouldn't have been able to get very much of the same high standard out these soundtracks! The 11 musical selections include Che Gelida Manina from La Boheme, the Italian version has many stock scenes not in the German showing a rapt audience listening (how you can empathise!); Soltanto Tu, Maria composed by de Curtis especially for the film; and a beautifully gossamer and heart-wringing Ave Maria (in any of the 4 choices).

Maybe his Forget Me Not was a better film, but Ave Maria was good too, very watchable and I'm glad it had such loving treatment by Bel Canto. And also maybe it's not the best introduction to Gigli for a newcomer as all of his sound recordings are available in many different packages and are much more preferable, but his films are useful additions for fans to flesh out the man.

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Germany | Italy



Release Date:

21 August 1936 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Ave maría See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Itala-Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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