5.9/10
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Serenade (1956)

Approved | | Drama, Music, Romance | 23 March 1956 (USA)
Damon Vincenti, a young vineyard worker, has a beautiful tenor voice and dreams of becoming a great opera singer. He debuts at Lardelli's Italian restaurant in San Francisco, where he is ... See full summary »

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

Ivan Goff (screenplay), Ben Roberts (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Mario Lanza ... Damon Vincenti
Joan Fontaine ... Kendall Hale
Sara Montiel ... Juana Montes (as Sarita Montiel)
Vincent Price ... Charles Winthrop
Joseph Calleia ... Maestro Marcatello
Harry Bellaver ... Tonio
Vince Edwards ... Marco Roselli
Silvio Minciotti Silvio Minciotti ... Lardelli
Frank Puglia ... Manuel Montes
Edward Platt ... Everett Carter
Licia Albanese ... Desdemona in 'Otello'
Jean Fenn Jean Fenn ... Soprano in San Francisco
Edit

Storyline

Damon Vincenti, a young vineyard worker, has a beautiful tenor voice and dreams of becoming a great opera singer. He debuts at Lardelli's Italian restaurant in San Francisco, where he is spotted by Kendall Hale, a society girl who enjoys launching young artists while making them her lovers before dumping them after use. Damon is no exception to the rule: he becomes famous but Kendall leaves him abruptly. He feels so affected that he must give up singing. In Mexico, where he has got back in touch with his inner self, Damon meets Juana Montès.They are happy and get married. But Kendall is still around... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Thrill of His Voice! Thrill of a Great Story! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Serenata See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico City, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Brothers bought the screen rights to the book in February 1944 and over the next 10 years various people were associated with it. At one point Ann Sheridan and Dennis Morgan were set to co star and later Michael Curtiz was set to direct. See more »

Quotes

Damon Vincenti: Hey! Are you hiring a singer or a bookkeeper?
Lardelli: Oho, he IS a tenor!
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Broken Disk (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

O Soave Fanciulla
(uncredited)
from "La Boheme"
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica
Performed by Mario Lanza and Jean Fenn
See more »

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User Reviews

Sarita saves Mario from Joan's predatory clutches!
28 April 2003 | by gregcoutureSee all my reviews

When this one was released I was still dazzled by the sleek beauty of the line of 1956 Lincoln automobiles. So, in the opening sequence, when Joan Fontaine, with her protege, Vince Edwards (playing a hot-headed boxer), in a "long, low, luxurious Lincoln" convertible (top down, of course), stop by the side of a vineyard where Mario Lanza is laboring (quite without any sign of perspiration, by the way...must have been an unseasonably cool day, despite the blazing sunshine!), to ask directions, I was hooked. The fire-engine red Premiere convertible is as lovingly photographed as the stars and it wasn't until Sarita Montiel, playing Mario's true love, Juana, makes her entrance, that I ceased wishing that resplendent automobile would again appear to do justice to the use of Technicolor (oops!), I mean, Warnercolor, in this soap-with-music.

Sarita, though her list of Spanish language films is quite awesome, never enjoyed much of a career in Hollywood films. (We weren't nearly as accepting of non-Anglo leading ladies back then.) She is just gorgeous in this one and her playing as the fiery and passionate (what else?!?) Juana helped Mario convince us that he was a man who could be snatched from the diabolical and devastating ensnarements of Joan Fontaine's spoiled heiress, Kendall Hale. The introduction of her character, when Mario flees in disgrace to Mexico, permits a scenic and worth-the-price-of-admission tour of Mexican locales.

The music is fairly well presented in this one. Not being an opera connoisseur, I am not qualified to comment knowledgeably on Mr. Lanza's renditions of operatic excerpts, but I have always found his tenor voice to be among the most listenable (So many of them just bleat!), and his constant reprising of the title song throughout this movie did not grow tiresome, at least to these ears.

A side note: Mario's father, quite a dear old gentleman, who had remarried, lived down the street in the Huntington Palisades section of Pacific Palisades, in southern California, where my family owned a home. I frequently saw Mario's Cadillac parked in his father's driveway, but, alas!, never caught a glimpse of the golden-voiced Mario himself, who was, you may be sure, his father's pride and joy.


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