5.8/10
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Serenade (1956)

Approved | | Drama, Music, Romance | 23 March 1956 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

Ivan Goff (screenplay), Ben Roberts (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Mario Lanza ... Damon Vincenti
Joan Fontaine ... Kendall Hale
Sara Montiel ... Juana Montes (as Sarita Montiel)
Vincent Price ... Charles Winthrop
Joseph Calleia ... Maestro Marcatello
Harry Bellaver ... Tonio
Vince Edwards ... Marco Roselli
Silvio Minciotti Silvio Minciotti ... Lardelli
Frank Puglia ... Manuel Montes
Edward Platt ... Everett Carter
Licia Albanese ... Desdemona in 'Otello'
Jean Fenn Jean Fenn ... Soprano in San Francisco
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Storyline

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... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Thrill of His Voice! Thrill of a Great Story! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Serenata See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico City, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Brothers bought the screen rights to the book in February 1944 and over the next 10 years various people were associated with it. At one point Ann Sheridan and Dennis Morgan were set to co star and later Michael Curtiz was set to direct. See more »

Quotes

Damon Vincenti: Hey! Are you hiring a singer or a bookkeeper?
Lardelli: Oho, he IS a tenor!
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Broken Disk (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Dio Ti Giocondi
(uncredited)
from "Otello"
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Arrigo Boito
Performed by Mario Lanza and Licia Albanese
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cain Not Able to do anything for Mario
2 February 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

For his one and only film away from an MGM release, Mario Lanza went to Warner Brothers in 1956 to star in a film adaption of James M. Cain's novel Serenade. It's the story of an opera singer discovered and then abandoned by society girl Joan Fontaine and then redeemed by the love of a good woman played by Mexican film star Sarita Montiel.

James M. Cain was an author who had given the screen a few classic films from his work like Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and The Postman Always Rings Twice. But Cain was unable to give the screen anything more than a turgid melodrama with Serenade. It was not in the class as a novel or a film as those other three works.

However one watches a Mario Lanza film to hear him sing and he's in good voice with the usual mixture of classical opera, Italian folk songs, and a pair of new songs by Nicholas Brodzsky and Sammy Cahn who had already given him Be My Love and Because You're Mine. Mario sings the title song and My Destiny from Brodzsky and Cahn and they're good, but not in the league with those two other classics identified with him. My favorite out of the score is La Danza which is sung toward the beginning of the film. Lanza did an outstanding record of this as did his idol Enrico Caruso in the early days of commercial recording.

The Code was still firmly in place or Vincent Price's character as the opera impresario would be more obviously gay. As it is Price gets the best lines in the film and makes the most of them.

If watching Serenade I'd fast forward to Mario's songs and listen to them. They're what gives Serenade any lasting popularity.


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