With Kathryn Grayson refusing to work with him again, Mario Lanza has a new leading lady in "Because You're Mine," a 1952 film which also stars Doretta Morrow, James Whitmore, Paula Corday, Jeff Donnell, and Spring Byington. Lanza is a great opera star, Renaldo Rossano, who gets drafted into the army. Fortunately for him, his commanding officer, Sgt. Batterson (Whitmore) is a fan, so Rossano has it pretty easy. Batterson is also trying to promote his sister as a singer. Renaldo falls for her. His prima donna back at the opera house (Paula Corday) will have something to say about that.
Broadway star Doretta Morrow is perky, and while not as pretty as Grayson, sings beautifully. Lanza was not very nice to her - that's putting it mildly - but apparently eventually apologized. Unhappy making this film after his triumphant "The Great Caruso," Lanza gained weight throughout the film so he's trim in one scene and chunky the next. It's a shame he felt that way - the film is pleasant enough, and he sings like a dream, doing a segment from "Il Trovatore," the "Addio" from "Rigoletto," the end of "Cavalleria Rusticana," the "Our Father," the title song, "Because You're Mine," and a very impressive "Granada." Not only does he impress with his glorious high notes, he does some very lyrical and soft singing as well.
James Whitmore moves into the comedy of his role easily, and Spring Byington is delightful as a general's wife who needs Renaldo to sing at a reception.
Very pleasant and a must for opera and Lanza fans.
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