Serenade

1956 [english]

Action / Drama / Music / Romance

Serenade

1956 [english]

Action / Drama / Music / Romance

5.7

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5.7

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Synopsis

Damon Vincenti, a young vineyard worker, has a beautiful tenor voice and dreams of becoming a great opera singer. He debuts at Lardelli's Italian restaurant in San Francisco, where he is spotted by Kendall Hale, a society girl who enjoys launching young artists while making them her lovers before dumping them after use. Damon is no exception to the rule: he becomes famous but Kendall leaves him abruptly. He feels so affected that he must give up singing. In Mexico, where he has got back in touch with his inner self, Damon meets Juana Montès.They are happy and get married. But Kendall is still around... —Guy Bellinger.

Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Aug 15, 2021 at 04:51 PM

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grade Movie Reviews

  • Reviewed by lawrence_elliott grade 8 / 10

    Mario Lanza at his Best! Powerful and Magnificent!

    I really enjoyed this movie. Mario Lanza's voice is so powerful and beautiful - the most emotionally charged voice I have ever listened to. He was God's gift to us with a beautiful powerful tenor voice. His 'Ave Maria' inspires even if you are an ardent Protestant. This man could sing beyond belief. Any one out there with a musical ear let him hear this man's voice - it will exalt you to the heavens.The story line is good and the acting okay. I found it thoroughly engaging and who could refuse to like this film when Vincent Price is in it. What a class act he is. Voice, presence, poise - this actor had it all. We will never hear a voice like Lanza again. The tenors of today are technically good but they have no heart, soul and emotion although they try very hard. My eyes are moist whenever Lanza sings it is so beautiful. What a joy to hear him sing. "And Flights of Angels Sing Thee to Thy Rest"!


  • Reviewed by arrival grade 10 / 10

    Mario Lanza's greatest Movie!

    Some might say that Mario Lanza was overweight and not in his best voice for this Movie, but that would be judging him by those factors alone. This in my opinion ironically is Lanza's best Movie ever! Serenade is a very dramatic Movie with great performances from the likes of Joan Fontaine and in particular Sarita Montiel who really makes this Picture. Add this to the beautiful colourful backdrops and a haunting and dramatic score in the use of 'Serenade', and what you have is a cocktail for a fabulous Movie! For a two hour Film this could have been 'over-long' but in fact the two hours fly by as the whole is so absorbing.This lush Masterpiece from 1956 is so under-rated as to never have been released on either Video or DVD in the United Kingdom - and only on Video for a limited period in the USA. If you want to own this Movie you're going to have to be patient and hunt madly, but it will be well worth the time spent! And for those who've already seen it, they will want to own it also, and so you'll have some pretty stiff competition in obtaining one of those scarce copies! If you haven't seen it, then book yourself a night in when it is next shown on TV for a great piece of entertainment, and have the chocolates and wine at the ready for a good quality night's viewing! This is a superb production - oh, and don't forget the tissues!Simply magic!


  • Reviewed by derekmcgovern grade 9 / 10

    An underrated treasure

    Serenade is far and away Lanza's most interesting movie. True, The Great Caruso is a more accessible film (and the best introduction to Lanza), but Serenade packs a far greater punch. This is melodrama to the nth degree, and fittingly it contains some of the finest dramatic singing ever recorded.Let's get the quibbles out of the way first. Injudicious editing has made some of the scenes appear silly and illogical. The speed with which Lanza becomes obsessed with Joan Fontaine seems absurd, and the ending could have been so much better. Would that the scenarists had had the courage to follow more closely the James Cain novel on which this movie is based, but then again, this was Hollywood, 1955. Had the movie been made without the censorship constraints of, say, a mere ten years later, it could have been a masterpiece. All I can say is, read the novel and you'll see what I mean!I would also criticize Anthony Mann's direction at times. Re-takes of some of Lanza's hammier moments should definitely have been made, and the film lacks (at times) the full dramatic treatment that its subject deserves. Re-takes of Lanza's Nessun Dorma and Di Quella Pira should also have been made. In both arias he sounds uncharacteristically strained, and in each case a second take would have sorted out the problem.Quibbles aside, Lanza's acting is often outstanding (the Ave Maria scene, for instance, is a revelation). Vincent Price, Lanza's acid-tongued and hilarious manager in the movie, later remarked off-screen how impressed he was with the tenor's dedicated approach to his acting. Sarita Montiel is also outstanding in her role as a fiery Mexican bullfighter's daughter, providing Lanza with his best-ever leading lady.But what makes this film a vocal masterpiece is Lanza's singing. La Danza, Torna a Surriento, Amor Ti Vieta, O Paradiso, the Otello Monologue (Dio! Mi potevi scagliar...) and the heart-rending Lamento Di Federico are all astonishing feats of singing. By 1955 Lanza's voice had darkened into a lirico spinto tenor that often borders on the dramatic. It is rare indeed to hear a tenor with such baritonal fullness AND a ringing tenorial top. (Eat your heart out, Placido Domingo!) Lanza For my money, the Otello Monologue is the pinnacle of Lanza's operatic legacy, and the finest recording of this aria. The scene in which it appears is also brilliantly acted by Lanza. As the critic John Cargher would later remark, Lanza's rendition of the Otello Monologue alone "would assure him of immortality."All criticism aside, Serenade remains a source of immense pleasure to me, and it is richly deserving of far wider appreciation.


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