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  • One Night of Love proved to be a successful comeback picture of sorts for Metropolitan Opera Star Grace Moore. Having not established herself at an earlier outing in Hollywood with MGM, Harry Cohn and Columbia got her back with this film that showcased Moore's magnificent voice.

    The film is your usual backstage story only with an operatic twist. Moore is an aspiring opera singer and as the picture opens she's singing the title tune which became a big hit at a radio station contest. The prize is a scholarship to study in Italy. Believe it or not, Grace Moore doesn't win, but she's determined and with her meager savings she goes to Italy and studies to become a great opera diva.

    Along the way she gets involved with two men, voice teacher Tullio Carminati and American expatriate Lyle Talbot. Carminati also has a witch of an ex-pupil/girlfriend he's trying to dump, deliciously played by Mona Barrie.

    But this is Miss Grace Moore's film and that's how she is billed here and would be for the rest of her film career. Grace Moore, who's all but forgotten today except for devoted opera fans, conquered four areas of entertainment; recordings, stage, grand opera, and finally film.

    She was the best selling classical artist of her day. On Broadway in Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues she introduced several of his standards, most importantly the song Always. Her buxom beauty (she was a full-figured gal before Jane Russell made bra commercials) helped popularize opera for the masses. And after failing with MGM she finally did become a film star with this film.

    Moore set off a couple of copycats in Hollywood with her success. 20th Century Fox signed Lily Pons and Paramount inked Gladys Swarthout to film contracts. Both these ladies fine singers that they were, never achieved even the limited success Moore had. The problem with signing opera singers is that you have to have them singing opera to show off their talent. That has a limited appeal and Moore too was finished in Hollywood in four years.

    The film is curiously autobiographical in the same way Mario Lanza's That Midnight Kiss is. Moore plays a small town girl who wants to sing opera, just like the real Grace Moore. How often will the public go to see an opera singer, even a great one, play an opera singer? Moore played versions of Mary Barrett for the rest of her film career at Columbia.

    Still the original is a tuneful treat. In addition to the title song and several arias, Moore also sings Ciribiribin which was a favorite song always requested at concerts and even at encores of her operatic performances.
  • This is my second viewing and it still remains one of the greatest musicals I have seen. I would definitely put it in my top ten favorite musicals of all-time. "One Night of Love" is not just a bubbly Grace Moore vehicle – it's a classic example of elegant 30s musical made with vigor and conviction. One viewing just won't do to fully enjoy it.

    Exuberantly directed by Victor Schertzinger with some lavish sets, "One Night of Love" takes us into the enchanting world of opera, with all its joys and pleasures, difficulties and heartbreaks. Moore previously made two MGM movies, both of which were commercial disappointments. Then in 1934, Columbia Pictures gave the famed opera diva another chance; to their surprise, it scored a huge success and was ultimately nominated for some Oscars.

    The film genially mixes popular ballads and grand opera. Moore is very beautiful and is endowed with a strong, haunting, and remarkably talented opera voice. In this film, Moore is aided by Tullio Carminati who plays her mentor and romantic interest. Her final performance at the Metropolitan Grand Opera packs a stirring punch.
  • More dated than Columbia's other big hit of 1934, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, this influential musical still seems light and bright because it never takes itself too seriously. Its success revealed the public's unsuspected hunger for opera, or more accurately, pretty snippets from operas. This certainly gave MGM ideas about how to showcase Jeanette MacDonald, and started a stampede to corral star sopranos [Lily Pons], budding divas [Deanna Durbin], and operatic guest stars [even Kirsten Flagstad sings in BIG BROADCAST OF 1938].

    At the time, Grace Moore got all the attention, as much for her shapely figure and for stepping down from her Metropolitan Opera pedestal as for her actual performance. Playing a soprano who spends her savings to study with a famous maestro in Italy, the 33 year-old Moore seems a bit of a late starter, but bounces around with lots of vivacity. Singing the title song and the inevitable "Ciri-Biri-Bin", she mostly avoids the pearls-before-swine tone of opera singers when they stoop to popular song, although she still sashays [especially as Carmen] and waves her arms too much for modern tastes.

    Many decades later, it is clear that much of the charm was supplied by Tullio Carminati, an appealing comic actor with a wry quality, something like an Italian Walter Matthau. As Moore's mentor/romantic interest, he has a kind of offhand sophistication and the expert timing to support Moore's occasionally shaky line readings [of course, she's the one who got the Oscar nomination].

    Director Victor Schertzinger soft-pedals the high culture, and manages several Lubitsch/Mamoulian moments: one amusing conceit has a building full of musicians all practicing different instruments in discord, until Moore unites the tunes with her impromptu rendition of "Sempre Libre" from LA TRAVIATA. Another enjoyable sequence presents singing a quartet from LUCIA as a strategy to avoid paying the rent. When the plot enters the tiresome misunderstandings phase, Schertzinger keeps the pace going until the finale, a staging of a scene from MADAME BUTTERFLY.

    Throughout, Joseph Walker, Columbia's maestro of camerawork, softly lights Moore to utmost advantage, and even gets in a couple of zoom shots [in 1934!]
  • Even though this shimmering musical from the long ago year of l934 might seem like an antique to some, One Night of Love has a magical quality to it. I watch it regularly, along with the l914 The Cheat and the 1941 nice Girl! with Deanna Durbin. These muscials are all amazingly fresh and exuberent. Grace Moore portrays American Mary who goes to Italy to become a great Opera Star. She falls under the management of arrogant, impossible but charismatic Tulio Carminetti. Great musical excerpts from Carmen, Madame Butterfly, help move this movie into the classics. Filmed at tiny Columbia Studios, this is a masterpiece. The intimate, beautifully decorated and photographed sets enhances the story. Grace Moore is adorable. Earthy, striking, talented. She reportedly played the prima donna during the filming, slamming doors, breaking windows, stalking off the sets when things did not go her way. Audiences back then actually stood and cheered and screamed "Bravo!" after the big operatic numbers. And what do we have today? "Big Mama's House" and "Tom Cats."
  • I have such lovely memories of Grace Moore in this movie which I first saw in 1968. I liked her subsequent films with Franchot Tone (The King Steps Out)Cary Grant (For You Alone) and Melvyn Douglas (I'll Take Romance) but One Night of Love is my favourite. I have a precious video copy from TV but hope Columbia will release it on DVD soon so that many more folk will perhaps share my liking for this singer who wasn't much of an actress but somehow in this film the character fitted her. And her singing is first class - her "One Fine Day" is so moving. Tullio Carminatti is very good as her singing teacher whom she falls in love with. Grace tragically died in a plane crash in 1946. Who knows, maybe Columbia will give us a box set of these 4 of her films.
  • This is an uneven film, and there's lots wrong with it, some of which has been mentioned by other reviewers.

    Rather than rehash all that, what I wanted to mention was the naturalness that Moore sometimes brings to her musical performances, a naturalness that makes them very engaging. The most notable case is probably Ciri-ciri-bin, where you can actually imagine the restaurant crowd joining in, so unpretentious is the whole thing. Some of the opera excerpts have that same quality, at least at times.

    Some of that comes from Moore's stage personality, which at times does come off as the girl next door. Some of it, however, comes from the fact that her voice, at that point, was rock-solid and capable of remarkable things. In many ways, she was like a female Mario Lanza: she had the raw gift, she just didn't always put in the necessary work to bring it under control. Nevertheless, she goes sailing through some of her numbers with clear joy because she knows the notes will be there.

    As I said, there are lots of problems with the movie. At times, her character seems like an interesting feminist willing to sacrifice to have a career. At other times, that all goes out the window.

    The music is good here, and some of the performances at least partially captivating. Not a great movie, but one worth watching, at least once.
  • Unlike MGM's favorite soprano, JEANETTE MacDONALD, other singers from the Met tried screen careers at various times in the '30s, but none emerged winning enough as screen personalities to rival Jeanette. Columbia tried hard with GRACE MOORE and this is undoubtedly one of her better efforts at attaining screen stardom. TULLIO CARMINATI is amusingly persistent as her demanding voice coach who discovers her singing "Ciribiribin" in a cellar cafe before offering to become her tutor. LYLE TALBOT is her boyfriend with marriage on his mind. But the silly script has Miss Moore acting like a spoiled prima donna, cavorting with boyfriend Talbot while supposedly training for her big moment as "Carmen". A series of misunderstandings involving another woman, MONA BARRIE (strongly resembling Kay Francis), makes up much of the backstage part of the story and only weakens the overall film. Moore is fine whenever she's singing but the lip synch is way off during the final "Un Bel Di" and it's hard to see where her performance earned her an Oscar nomination for the acting part of her role. Summing up: A disappointment for me, regardless of glowing tributes from the other commentators on this particular film.
  • Grace Moore stars in "One Night of Love," a 1934 movie also starring Tullio Carminati and Lyle Talbot. Carminati plays a renowned vocal teacher, Giulio Monteverdi, who takes a young aspiring opera singer, Maria Barrett, under his wing. Still scarred from a disastrous love affair with a former student, Monteverdi makes it clear that the word love must never be mentioned. Maria isn't worried; she believes she's in love with another (Lyle Talbot). Nevertheless, the two fall in love but don't admit it. When Monteverdi's old student reappears, Maria becomes jealous and turns into an uberdiva.

    This delightful musical was a huge success - the operatic selections are wonderful, as is the title song, which was a big recording success for Moore. Moore's voice is absolutely beautiful. Female singers were trained a little differently in those days, often backing off of their high notes. Moore does a little of that but has a glorious extension above high C. Her best singing is in her rendition of "One Night of Love"; unfortunately, the opera selections sung by "Maria Barrett" were vocally wrong for this charming lyric coloratura. Moore herself has a nice warm presence on screen, though I read once that she had an unfortunate resemblance to the comedienne Joan Davis. From certain angles, that is true, but she was photographed carefully and looks lovely throughout the movie, slender and beautiful. Due to marrying a Frenchman and living part-time in France, working at her opera career, concertizing and eventually entertaining the troops, Moore only made 9 films. She died in a plane crash in 1947 at 49 years of age.

    The opera selections were, as always, on the strange side. Only in Hollywood would a lyric coloratura with a weak lower register and no chest voice sing Carmen! From the sound, female singers also were not taught to do a mix on the lower notes. The role for Moore in Carmen is Micaela, which is indeed the role she played. Surprisingly, she also in real life did Tosca and Butterfly, which must have been total disasters. Her Butterfly, the finale of the film, is not good, particularly at the end. Her voice just isn't powerful enough, nor should it be - she wasn't a spinto or dramatic soprano or even a big lyric! The voice suffers, occasionally falling out of placement in the middle range. "Sempre Libera" was a series of wrong and skipped notes. And she scooped like crazy. This is nitpicking, but I would have preferred to hear some "La Boheme," Mimi being her Metropolitan Opera debut, or the Jewel Song from Faust, or Micaela's aria, all of which suited her voice perfectly, and all of which she sang during her career.

    If you love opera, you'll love "One Night of Love" for its glorious music and the elegantly-voiced Grace Moore.
  • Probably the most watchable of opera singer Grace Moore's nine motion pictures, this one was a hit with audiences of the time as well. A love story about an aspiring opera singer, the movie contains thirteen songs, my favorite being "Ciri-Biri-Bin." Favorite line: "Italy! Why that place is full of Italians!"
  • JohnHowardReid24 October 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    Songs: "One Night of Love" (Moore) by Gus Kahn (lyrics) and Victor Schertzinger (music); "Ciri-Biri-Bin" (Moore) by A. Pestalozza and Rudolf Thaler; "One Fine Day" (Moore) by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa (lyrics) and Giacomo Puccini (music); an aria (Moore) from "Carmen", lyrics by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, music by Georges Bizet; an aria (Moore) from "Lucia di Lammermoor", lyrics by Salvatore Cammarano, music by Gaetano Donizetti. Background music: Louis Silvers, Howard Jackson, Alfred Newman. Music director: Dr Pietro Cimini.

    Copyright 30 July 1934 by Columbia Pictures Corp. New York opening at the Radio City Music Hall, 6 September 1934 (ran 2 weeks). U.K. release: 19 January 1935. Australian release: 2 January 1935. Sydney opening at the Liberty. 9 reels. 82 minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: Student trains to be an opera singer.

    NOTES: Academy Award, Best Music Score (defeating The Gay Divorcée and The Lost Patrol). Academy Award, Sound Recording (defeating Affairs of Cellini, Cleopatra, Flirtation Walk, The Gay Divorcée, Imitation of Life, Viva Villa). Academy Award, Class III Scientific or Technical Award, to "Columbia Pictures Corp. for their application of the vertical cut disc method (hill and dale recording) to actual studio production, with their recording of the sound on the picture One Night of Love".

    Also nominated for Best Picture (It Happened One Night), Best Actress, Grace Moore (Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night), Directing (Frank Capra for It Happened One Night), Film Editing (Eskimo).

    Number 4 in the Film Daily annual poll of U.S. film critics. Australia's number one box-office hit for 1936. (With a staggering 323,696 tickets sold exclusively at its Sydney showcase, the movie was not generally released until 1936. By way of comparison, Australia's number two in popularity for 1936, "Top Hat", sold just less than 219,000 tickets in its Sydney city season). One Night of Love is one of a mere handful of Hollywood movies that earned back not only their original costs but their total worldwide print, distribution and advertising overheads in Australia alone. The movie also proved a sensation in its domestic release, coming in at second position for 1934 to It Happened One Night. This meant that Columbia had captured both the number one and number two spots, a result which propelled the studio firmly into the ranks of the Hollywood majors.

    COMMENT: It's impossible to credit that five writers labored on this concoction. Five! The mind boggles. What did they write? Sparking dialogue? No. Cleverly conceived characters? No. An amusing plot? No. An exotic setting? No. Fascinatingly detailed backstage trivia? No.So what did they come up with? A piffling little story about a somewhat plain girl (with no dress sense whatever) who makes the trip from hometown, USA, to an Italian slum where she sings for her supper and thus attracts the attention of a leading teacher who takes her under his wing on the strict understanding that the opera- star-to-be must not fall in love with him. As he's a little fat guy with the imperious manners of a footman and all the personality of a wet dishrag, this would seem not too onerous a bargain, especially as our plain Jane has managed to snare (how, we're not told) a snappy, personable, young millionaire who is positively eager to marry her. If you can't tell how the plot (such as it is) progresses from this point, you haven't seen many pictures.

    Hmm. Five writers, count them! Well, the surrounding story in a musical is not supposed to be all that stimulating, so let's overlook the sappy script and turn our attention to the music. Wonderful songs? Well, her first effort, "Sempre Libera" from Verdi's La Traviata (lyrics by Francesco Maria Piave) and her following café number "Ciri-Biri-Bin" are put over with a certain amount of vitality (the first is even introduced with a couple of zoom shots), but they hardly number among our favorites; the title song is a nothing; and the other operatic arias are well-plumbed standards. Maybe they still had a few breaths of freshness back in 1934, but sixty years later, they seem old-hat. Pedestrian staging doesn't help either.

    As for Miss Moore's voice? Again, not a soprano I exactly idolize, but passable enough on a sound track that, although it may have been a pace-setter in 1934, still seems a long way short of the standard we expect today.

    Other features that negate the film's appeal include Luis Alberni's exaggerated mugging as Carminati's comic-relief assistant. (Incidentally, Carminati plays a character named Giulio Monteverdi, but he is addressed in the movie as Tullio). Plus Miss Moore's ghastly costumes. Plus the general poverty of the production. In short, I found the movie very disappointing.
  • 'One Night of Love' is not Grace Moore's first film. It's actually her third, but it is here where she properly emerged as a movie star, having made acclaimed appearances on the musical theatre and operatic stages from a decade previously.

    Whereas in 'Jenny Lind' (or 'A Lady's Morals') and 'New Moon' she had bigger name stars like Wallace Beery and Lawrence Tibbett (much more of a fan of the latter though, can take or leave Beery as an actor whereas Tibbett was, and still is, an operatic giant as well as a remarkably vivid actor) alongside her, and more leading lady status than the "star". Here however, she is the star in the first of five films she made with Columbia (her previous two films being with MGM), and it is one of her better, a contender for the best even, collaborations with the studio.

    There is not much to complain about here, at least to me. Then again it is highly dependent on whether it is your sort of film. The start of the film is not as clever or as exuberant as the rest, setting the tone for a very typical, clichéd want-of-stardom/back-stage drama film. There are also parts where lip-synching is sloppy, particularly in "Un Bel Di Vedremo". However, there is so much to recommend about 'One Night of Love'. The story easily could have been contrived, paper thin and overly-typical with the numerous misunderstandings in danger of over-complicating the drama, but while there is not much originality it is executed with such light-footed aplomb and exuberance and the misunderstandings so wittily written that what could have been a huge problem was not problem.

    Not only that, but as a singer myself it was easy to relate to Moore's character Mary's goals and trials and there is so much truth to what is shown in the film (the wants to make something out of what you love and the trials involved as well as the rewards), which also has a very autobiographical and personal feel. The opera world is not glamorised or trivialised like it could have been, it is shown as rewarding and glitzy but it is also shown that what seems so idyllic on stage and on record is not so idealistically glamorous, it's hugely competitive and often stressful.

    Visually, 'One Night of Love' is a lavish-looking film, beautifully shot and designed with sheer elegance and class. The music, done during a period where opera was used extensively in film to make it more accessible to a wider audience, is magnificent, not just the timeless operatic standards such as "Habanera" from 'Carmen', "Sempre Libera" for 'La Traviata', the sextet from 'Lucia Di Lammermoor' and "Un Bel Di Vedremo" from 'Madama Butterfly' but also the title song and "Ciriciribin". The writing sparkles from bubbles on top of a champagne glass, and Schertzinger's direction is a marvel. Narratively, highlights are the scene with the musical instruments playing and Mary starts to sing as a result and the triumphant and moving finale (a character overcoming the odds is not new territory but still it's very well done here).

    Moore dazzles as Mary and it is easy to see how she was made a movie star (sadly though a short-lived one on film, and in real life), her singing is wonderful -if a little over-parted in "Sempre Libera", which didn't strike me as the sort of aria that seemed completely right for her voice- and she is an expertly comedienne too. Tullio Carminatti is also ideally cast, bringing wry humour and charm, while Jessie Ralph is particularly excellent in support.

    All in all, notable for making a movie star out of Grace Moore in her third film (though first time as star rather than leading lady) but also a vastly entertaining and well-made film in its own right. 8/10 Bethany Cox
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had a difficult time getting into the story. The first fifteen or twenty minutes seemed kind of clichéd and the sets were sparsely furnished to indicate the humble origins of Grace Moore's character. But I figured it would get better once the musical selections played, and I was right. The sets also improved as her character worked her way up in the opera world and became a success. She's a very strong vocalist and in some ways, I think she's a little better than her contemporary, Jeanette MacDonald. The extended scene halfway into the picture where she performs Bizet's Carmen is truly excellent. The film is helped by the casting of Lyle Talbot as a would-be suitor, Jessie Ralph as the maid, and Jane Darwell as Moore's mother. The leading man is played by Italian actor Tullio Carminati and his interpretation of the Svengali-like manager is quite good. The finale, where he encourages her to overcome her stage fright and she sings from Puccini's Madame Butterfly, is exquisite and triumphant. By the time the Columbia logo came across the screen at the end, I was glad I had watched this motion picture. And of course, I wished they still made 'em so good.
  • After losing a radio contest, operatic singer Grace Moore (as Mary Barrett) decides to go to Italy and perfect her craft. Already quite impressive, she uses her vocal skills to win friends and influence the rent-collecting landlady. Working at a café, Ms. Moore meets singing maestro Tullio Carminati (as Giulio Monteverdi) and agrees to become his pupil. They move in together but agree not to have sex. "Business and love do not mix," asserts Mr. Carminati, who relinquished himself of attractive Mona Barrie (as Lally) when she wanted to make love...

    The rejected woman re-enters the picture and handsome Lyle Talbot (as Bill Houston) is also around. He would like to marry Moore. All of this fluff is meant to showcase Moore, who acquits herself well after some less than blockbuster films for MGM. Moore received an "Oscar" nomination for her starring role. The "Academy" and "New York Times" also lauded co-star Carminati and director Victor Schertzinger. Moore's closing number is a highlight.

    ***** One Night of Love (9/5/34) Victor Schertzinger ~ Grace Moore, Tullio Carminati, Lyle Talbot, Mona Barrie