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H. Bruce Humberstone
As part of this film's promotion, "new Warner Brothers star" Merv Griffin was sent on an all expenses paid promotional tour of major cities across the U.S. At his stop in Boston, he found out that Freddy Martin and his orchestra, for whom Griffin had been the lead singer, were in town doing concerts, so Merv invited the whole group to his suite at the Statler Hotel for a champagne and caviar reception. When studio head Jack Warner saw the hotel bill - more than $3,000 just for the food (at a time when $3,000 was enough to buy at least two brand new automobiles) - Warner was furious. See more »
Kathryn Grayson portrays singer Grace Moore in "So This is Love," a 1953 musical biography. Merv Griffin, of all people, plays one of her suitors. The film also features Douglas Dick, Jeff Donnell, Joan Weldon, Walter Abel, Ann Doran, and Rosemary DeCamp.
As pointed out in other reviews, this is a small part of Moore's story, concerning her early life and her efforts to become an opera star. The film also shows her Broadway success, but fails to show that she introduced the song "What'll I Do." And it completely leaves out her film career, which went from 1930 to 1939.
Moore was a lyric soprano and strongly tied to French repertoire, specifically Manon and Louise, as well as La Boheme; eventually she went into more spinto repertoire with Tosca. In films, she sang arias from Madama Butterfly and "Casta Diva" from Norma. All of which is to say that she and coloratura Kathryn Grayson did not share much repertoire. The music performed in the film, therefore, is more suited to Grayson's voice.
Kathryn Grayson does a lovely job as Moore. She's very pretty and her voice is in good shape as the ambitious singer Moore, and she's effective in the musical comedy numbers as well as the operatic ones. I don't know that her singing of "Mi chiamano Mimi" would have garnered her a standing ovation from a Metropolitan Opera audience, but the aria was put into the film as Mimi was Moore's Met debut. It's not really right for Grayson's voice.
Moore died in a plane crash in 1947, and I can't imagine a biopic today leaving that out. This film concentrates on music and the driving ambition of a young girl determined to make it on the opera stage. On that basis, it's entertaining.
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