A remake of the 1927 picture based on the musical by Romberg and Donnelly and the straight play by Meyer-Foerster, this film is a pleasant trifle with some good musical numbers that were sung by Mario Lanza, but came out of the mouth of Purdom. Lanza had been scheduled to play the German
prince, but his weight was always fluctuating, and when his temper began to rise and fall with the speed of his avoirdupois, the decision was made to toss him out and use Purdom. Since Lanza had already pre-recorded the tunes, that wasn't too tough, although the sound of the round tenor tones
coming out of Purdom's slim chest does seem ludicrous, for a while. After the shock of it is over, the picture has its moments. Purdom is Karl, a prince with all the accoutrements of the royal purple. His father is the king (Calhern), who feels that the prince needs to go out and see what the real
world is like before he comes back to the princess (St. John) with whom a marriage has been arranged. He goes to Heidelberg, where he meets Kathie (Blyth), the daughter of a local innkeeper (Sakall). They fall in love, but when the king falls ill and dies, Karl must assume his position as king.
Unrequited love is the theme and 1954 audiences liked their love requited, so the picture didn't fare as well as the studio had hoped. The stalwart and handsome if unexciting Purdom got lots of build-up and later starred in THE EGYPTIAN, yet his career never did take off. The Romberg-Donnelly
songs (with some revised lyrics by Paul Francis Webster) include "Golden Days," "Serenade," "Deep in My Heart," "To the Inn We're Marching," "Drink, Drink, Drink," and "Come Boys, Let's All Be Gay, Boys," a song that causes gales of laughter these days because the meaning of its title has changed
over the years. Webster and Nicholas Brodszky added three new tunes to the score ("I'll Walk with God", "Beloved" and "Summertime in Heidelberg"), none of which was up to the original. The editing by Ruggiero was a standout and Pan's choreography properly rousing, but the time had passed for such
corn by 1954.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A remake of the 1927 picture based on the musical by Romberg and Donnelly and the straight play by Meyer-Foerster, this film is a pleasant trifle with some good musical numbers that were sung by Mario Lanza, but came out of the mouth of Purdom. Lanza had b… (more)