2 June 2007 | lora64
Love blooms, ancient family troubles, and wonderful singing by Tito Gobbi
This Italian movie, presented on VHS by the Bel Canto Society, had English subtitles so I could easily follow the story throughout. It is a very touching love story that bridges over two generations beginning from the early 1900s onwards.
It starts out with flashbacks to his younger days when Paolo (Gobbi) was studying voice but is ready to debut into a professional singing career. He is forced to work nights at a vaudeville show to pay for his lessons but looks forward to better days. He meets lovely Claretta (Maria Mercader) who also takes lessons from the maestro, and soon their romance blossoms. However, the course of true love never does run smooth.
When Paolo is invited to Claretta's home for a special occasion, her birthday, there soon develops a great deal of friction because her family, being wealthy, thinks Paolo is beneath her in the social scheme of things and is only seeking his fortune. Her meddlesome brother is intent on nipping their romance in the bud, ostensibly for family reasons, dignity, etc., and would stop at nothing to get his way, from loudly interfering in Paolo's singing performance onstage to being insulting at every turn, all of which leads to a major clash.
There are more details of course and too long to fill in all of them. The film is very steady paced with lovely intervals of Gobbi's singing included. I must admit to being a great fan of Tito Gobbi who has such a magnificent baritone voice, could listen for hours, plus fine acting skills, a very gifted singer indeed.
If you like a sincere love story and beautiful music, you can welcome into your collection this film which was a popular hit in its day. Great for Tito Gobbi fans!