The life of Marian Talley is an odd one...and hard to understand. She was, for four years, a star with the Metropolitan Opera. And, unexpectedly, she quit to make movies. She made "Follow Your Heart" and then disappeared from the public! While I have no idea why she quit the opera, I can easily understand why she gave up on movies after seeing her in this film! Yes...she was that bad...with no charisma and about as appealing when she's not singing as a tomato....and an untalented tomato at that.
The story finds Marion (Marion Talley) living with her ne'er-do-well family. All but Marion are musicians of some sort and apart from her sister who has achieved success (though she spends more than she makes), the rest are barely scraping by and are anything but successes. One day, her uncle brings his out of work opera company to stay at their empty mansion....and the lead tenor (Michael Bartlett) discovers that Marion has an amazing voice. He wants her to become a professional but Marion has seen how her family has lived....and she wants a normal life...as does her boring fiance. But you know according to movie formula that by the end of the film she'll be in love with Michael AND she'll be a singing success.
I have been to seven operas and while I am far from being an expert, I do know that much of the singing in the film was painful to hear. Oddly, Michael Bartlett as best I can tell was not a professional opera singer...and he seemed to have a very pleasant and capable voice. Talley was okay...but often sang in such a high voice I can only assume dogs were her intended audience. As for the rest of the singers...they were pretty painful...as was Talley's acting. Overall, a film that is VERY hard to take...and I cannot imagine opera fans liking much of the singing and non-opera fans wouldn't enjoy any of this. Overall, not an enjoyable film and ample proof that Talley was no actress. Perhaps over time she could have evolved into one, but here she just isn't enough to carry the film.
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