Production Company: Columbia
Top Billed Actors: Grace Moore, Tullio Carminati, Lyle Talbot
IMDb Rating: 6.0
*Best Picture Nominee*
Won 2 Oscars:
Best Sound - John P. Livadary
Best Original Score - Louis Silvers
Nominated for 4 more:
Best Director - Victor Schertzinger
Best Actress - Grace Moore
Best Film Editing - Gene Milford
Plot: An opera maestro vows to not fall in love with his student and he obviously falls in love with his student.
The music in the film is very well presented. There are times that it is obvious Moore is lip synching to a pre-recorded track, but knowing that it is her real voice made it seem like less of a detraction. There are a few sequences of extended arias, especially towards the end of the film. As an opera-lover myself, this was neat to see in the context of the story. The transitional scenes when Moore travels between cities and the end of an act in the story feature wonderful editing and superb music. It is fitting that this film won the first Original Score award and the future of film music must have been bright with the release of this picture.
Although this is a very appealing aural experience, the acting and the narrative are to be desired. Moore is not an excellent actress and she is often over the top in the delivery of her lines. It is rather irksome to see the lead being the weakest link in this department, but at least she could sing! The story is also very dull and predictable. Tullio Carminati is a break-neck operatic mentor who takes in Moore as a student. Although he tells her to not mix love with business, the end result becomes inevitable. Misunderstanding and fights commence and there is a "been there, done that" feel. At least she can sing!
Overall, it is nice to see a move from the mid-1930s with a focus on music, both for original score and the opera repertoire. Moore somewhat disappoints for her acting but she makes up for it with her voice. Don't expect anything new in terms of the story as well.
My Score: 6/10