30 May 2004 | ItalianGerry
Sing and you will feel better!
This is a silly-plotted vehicle for the great Italian tenor, Beniamino Gigli (1890-1957), and he was certainly in a good number of them. In this movie he is Nello Spadoni, a cheery singing taxi driver in Rome. (The U.S. title was indeed "The Singing Taxi Driver.") Most of the movie, when he is not singing at various festivities for friends, like at the birthday party he is given at the film's start, is spent trying to track down whoever left the little baby in the back seat of the cab, probably a distraught young lady passenger who wants to rid herself of the child. Philippe Lemaire and Danielle Godet play a young couple who, after some soul searching, decide to adopt the foundling. The musical selections range from Leoncavallo and Donizetti to some lilting popular numbers. Providing an amusing subplot is the American impresario played by the amusing and portly William C. Tubbs, remembered as the U.S. chaplain in Rossellini's "Paisan" and as the stereotypical American in that same director's "La macchina ammazzacattivi" and other Italian movies of the period. His inimitable Italian voice and presence give this film additional character. Our hero Nello dismisses him as a prankster, then tries to track him down when he realizes that the man was serious in offering him an opera contract. Carmine Gallone, a specialist in musical and operatic films, directed this amiable fluff with a light touch. "Sing and you will feel better," Nello insists. Good advice.