3 December 2006 | Vortrek
A diminutive tenor seeks love and fame in Venice.
A diminutive classical tenor and his two equally penniless performing buddies seek fame and love in 1930s Venice. Eventually Richardo succeeds in radio, but his stature hinders his dream of starring on stage. And will it also prevent him from finding love? The answer will surprise you. The movie features plenty of singing by Schmidt plus some great exterior location shots in Venice, including gondola travel and an extended walk along quays and over bridges in a city still spared the intrusion of the automobile.
This film can appeal to fans of various genre: German cinema, Holocaust periphera, Venice, and great tenors. Schmidt reportedly was unhappy with the subject matter-- his own shortness (in life he was sometimes referred to as a "pocket Caruso". But the film works and it partly truly reflects his own life, where he succeeded much better in recordings and film than he did on stage. He continued to make German film until 1936, and remained popular in parts of Nazi-occupied Europe until his escape to Switzerland in 1940, where he died in an internment camp two years later. The IMDb lists him at 5 foot (1.52m), and that may be generous; in the movie he wears elevator shoes that must give him 6 inches (15cm).