Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


THE GAY DESPERADO (1936). Director: Rouben Mamoulian.

The story is some stuff and nonsense about Mexican bandits being influenced by Hollywood movies, kidnapping a young couple, while one of their number, Chivo (Nino Martini) , happens to have a major operatic voice. This is one of only a half dozen movies done by Martini, and he's really the only reason to tune in. He was not at all a bad actor for this kind of stuff, but boy what a voice! He sings the pants off "Celeste, Aida!" from Verdi's Aida, proving that he is no poser like Andrea Bocelli, but the genuine article -- an outstanding dramatic tenor. Whenever he's not singing the movie is kind of tiresome, despite the snappy presence of Ida Lupino as the love interest. Leo Carrillo and Mischa Auer are also in the cast.

Verdict: Sing, fellow, sing! **1/2.

No comments: