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Give Us This Night (1936) DVD-R

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Starring Jan Kiepura, Gladys Swarthout, Philip Merivale, Benny Baker,
Alan Mowbray
Directed by Alexander Hall

Print: black/white
Runtime: 73 min.
Genre: musical
Print Quality: B

Charismatic Polish opera singer Jan Kiepura made his Hollywood debut in
Give Us This Night. His thick Slavic accent notwithstanding, Kiepura is
cast as Italian fisherman Antonio. In the habit of singing as he fishes,
Antonio catches the attention of opera diva Maria (played by real-life
operatic soprano Gladys Swarthout, in her second film appearance). Our
hero ends up replacing Maria's burned-out leading man Forcellini (Alan
Mowbray), leading to a series of duets and, naturally, romance. It was the
same formula that MGM would later deploy for their Mario Lanza pictures
of the 1950s, except that Lanza was a more persuasive screen presence
than Kiepura. The highlight of Give Us This Night is the climactic operatic
adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, composed by Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

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