Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
FORBIDDEN MUSIC (aka Land Without Music/1936), Director: Walter Forde.
In the Grand Duchy of Lucca, Princess Maria (Diana Napier) is appalled to learn that her country is in debt to the tune of ten million and because of this may be taken over by Austria. It seems her countrymen spend entirely too much time singing and playing instruments, so she decides to ban music throughout the land upon punishment of prison. Jimmy Durante and June Clyde show up as a father/daughter team traveling through the Duchy, but of more importance is the re-appearance of Lucca's great singer, Mario Carlini (Richard Tauber), who romances the princess. There are some pleasant songs by Oscar Straus, very well-sung by the heroic Tauber, but both the characters and story line are unmemorable. The great Schnozzola is pretty much lost in this not so comic opera.
Verdict: Durante deserves better than this! **.