Notes and Editorial Reviews
A Star Fell From Heaven - (Ein Stern fällt vom Himmel) Featuring Joseph Schmidt. Arias from Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'Amore" + various songs. (1936). In German, with new English subtitles. 91m. B&W. PCM audio. DVD (all regions)
"In no film is Joseph Schmidt better cast than here. He was able to put before the camera the Joseph Schmidt that he was in private: a normal human being, positive thinking, bubbling over with humor. The film also is full of vocal high points. For example, thanks to close miking and the lack of disturbing cutaways, his rendering of ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ provides a deep experience, a real lesson in the art of singing."
—Alfred A. Fassbind, "Joseph Schmidt"
"The plot sure isn’t Goethe, but it is about two tenors: Tenor 1 damages his voice by drinking cologne, thinking it cognac. Tenor 2 has a problem singing while people are sucking lemons. Every time he goes to an audition, somebody just happens to be lemon sucking. He agrees to sing in place of Tenor 1, who lip-synchs. (By coincidence, the two tenors sound identical!) Tenor 2’s girlfriend is upset by the fraud. So are his friends, who disrupt a performance. All ends happily when Tenor 1 recovers his voice, admits the deceit and makes a star of Tenor 2. Connoisseurs of Busby Berkeley take note: This film has a production number to rival the master’s, but Berkeley was never so exquisitely wacky. The plot occasions much singing of songs, a trill and many high notes." - Stefan Zucker
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