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Friday, April 26, 2013

That Midnight Kiss (1949)

When a doyenne (Ethel Barrymore) of Philadelphia society sponsors a new opera company, she has hopes that it will jump start her granddaughter's (Kathryn Grayson) singing career. But when a truck driver (Mario Lanza) turned opera singer replaces her temperamental leading man (Thomas Gomez), romantic sparks fly. What can one say? If Grayson's shrieking and Lanza's bellowing tenor are your cup of tea, you'll have a grand old time. It's a harmless slice of MGM cheese beautifully wrapped in Technicolor with Preston Ames and Edwin B. Wlllis' handsome art and set direction and Helen Rose's striking costumes. It's a nostalgic relic of the days when Hollywood was attempting to bring its idea of "culture" to the unwashed masses. I don't mean to be too hard on it, for what it is, it's quite watchable. This was Lanza's film debut and he's quite likable, you can see why audiences took to him. Directed by Norman Taurog. With Keenan Wynn, Marjorie Reynolds (MINISTRY OF FEAR), J. Carrol Naish, Jules Munshin, Arthur Treacher and Ann Codee.

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