24 April 2019 | boblipton
Pleasant If Standard Movie
Billy Milton is starring in the latest super-production of Miracle Productions -- and yes, they use that joke, as well as all the other tired standards. He's a singing star. When he loses his voice, they have to get someone to dub him. Fortunately, Joseph Schmidt's singing voice is exactly the same.
It's a decently done and amusing musical picture, even if all the standard tropes and gags are present. Schmidt's voice is excellence, although the soundtrack of the print I listened to is a bit buzzy, making mush of the words.
Schmidt was born in 1904 in Austria-Hungary. He was Jewish and his earliest training was as a cantor. He was just over five feet tall, and too short for roles in opera. The story is that the conductor Leo Blech told him it was a pity he wasn't small. "But I am small," replied Schmidt. "No, you aren't small, you're too small." Despite that, he was popular on the radio and in concert. His film career stretched from 1931 through 1936, but the rise of the Nazis in Germany forced him to flee, first to Austria, then to France. During the Second World War, he snuck into Switzerland and was eventually interred as an illegal emigrant. He died of a heart attack, the day before he was due to get a resident permit.