28 May 2016 | mobrienam
Operatic film version of Pagliacci starring Richard Tauber
This is one of the few films Austrian tenor Richard Tauber made along his career. It is based on Leoncavallo's opera, with a couple of small changes : here Canio, the leader of a Commedia dell'Arte troupe playing Pagliaccio, is not so jealous of her wife at first, getting worse when instigated by rejected Tonio, another actor, who is not humpbacked like in the original play. Nedda, the detached wife playing Colombina, starts an affair with a young cadet and plans to run away with him. The dramatic intensity grows to a climax during the Commedia dell'Arte performance, so this is a play inside the play. If you like this opera you'll probably like this film, as it has the famed arias and is well staged with a good production design. It has even some early color sequences in the introduction and climatic scenes. The image quality of the existing copies is quite awful, but if you are fond of opera and/or Richard Tauber it is a curiosity, if not one of his best films. On the contrary, if you don't like this kind of jealousy and crime stories, better avoid it. It is good anyway that this hard-to-find film is available.