Review: ‘That Midnight Kiss’

The film introduces tenor Mario Lanza, recruited from grand opera. His voice, when he's singing opera, is excellent. He's no great actor but handles his thesping chores adequately.

The film introduces tenor Mario Lanza, recruited from grand opera. His voice, when he’s singing opera, is excellent. He’s no great actor but handles his thesping chores adequately.

Original screenplay has Ethel Barrymore as a wealthy Philly blueblood, who attempts to compensate for her own operatic frustrations by financing a civic company to star her granddaughter, Kathryn Grayson. Jose Iturbi, as the maestro, agrees to audition Lanza after Grayson discovers him. When the temperamental tenor originally booked to co-star with Grayson quits, she convinces Iturbi to give Lanza the big chance.

Producer Joe Pasternak had some innocuous stilted lyrics written for a theme from Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. Staging and scoring are both static, which doesn’t do either Lanza or Grayson any good.

That Midnight Kiss

Production

M-G-M. Director Norman Taurog; Producer Joe Pasternak; Screenplay Bruce Manning, Tamara Hovey; Camera Robert Surtees; Editor Gene Ruggiero

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1949. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Kathryn Grayson Mario Lanza Jose Iturbi Ethel Barrymore Keenan Wynn J. Carrol Naish

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