Mr. Imperium (1951)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.5

Alternate title:  You Belong To My Heart

USA, 1951.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  Screenplay by , Don Hartman, based on the play by Edwin H. Knopf. Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse.  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .

Studio heads gave opera star  a screen test and incorrectly believed it wise to move ahead with a starring role.  Pairing up his complete lack of charisma with a full-on dud of a screenplay, they got the beautiful Lana Turner bogged down in this mess of a movie that was shelved for a year and then finally given a shot on the big screen where it fizzled.  Pinza plays a playboy prince who has an affair with a chorus girl (Turner) that turns to love.  They part, and years later he is made king of his small principality while she has turned into a huge star; they are reunited by circumstances but there’s little chance that their current life situations will allow them to be together again.  The terrible chemistry between the two stars and the dull musical sequences that show off Pinza’s operatic voice really make it a chore to sit through; if there is anything worthy about the film it’s the lovely locations, and if there is anything memorable about this debacle it would probably be the early appearance in a supporting role of a peppy young Debbie Reynolds, just one year shy of her appearance in Singin’ In The Rain.

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