It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.
This week’s musical:
So This is Love (1953) – Musical #325
Kathryn Grayson, Merv Griffin, Joan Weldon, Walter Abel, Rosemary DeCamp, Ann Doran, Jeff Donnell, Douglas Dick, Mabel Albertson, Fortunio Bonanova, Marie Windsor, Tristram Coffin (uncredited), Barbara Pepper (uncredited), Moroni Olsen (uncredited)
Themselves: Francois and Giselle Szony
Musical biographical film of opera singer and actress, Grace Moore (Grayson). The film follows Moore’s struggles in her early career, loss and regain of voice, and her rise to fame.
• The story chronicles from Grace Moore’s childhood to 1928 when she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House. Moore acted in films from 1930 to 1939, and died in a plane crash in 1947.
• Working title was “The Grace Moore Story”
• Mary Astor was originally set to play Moore’s aunt, but had to be replaced by Rosemary DeCamp due to an injury, according to Astor’s autobiography.
• Walter Abel’s reactions to Kathryn Grayson singing “I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate”
• Jeff Donnell’s character, Henrietta
• The ballet performance by Francois and Giselle Szony
• “Si, mi chiamo Mimi (Mimi’s Aria)” from “La Bohème” performed by Kathryn Grayson
• “I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” performed by Kathryn Grayson
• “Je veux vivre (Juliet’s Waltz Song)” performed by Kathryn Grayson
With some biographical films, the casting can be questionable.
But Kathryn Grayson was perfect casting to play opera singer and actress Grace Moore. “So This Is Love” tells the story of Moore’s childhood, teen years and struggles to become a singer on Broadway and then the Metropolitan Opera. The film ends on a high note by stopping in 1928, excluding Moore’s film career and untimely death in 1947.
Grayson is excellent as Moore, and looks surprisingly good as a blonde.
“So This is Love” (1953) is really a delightful film, despite knowing the sad end of the subject. It’s filmed in gorgeous Technicolor, has some beautiful songs, and is really quite funny. Not only does Grayson have the opportunity to sing beautiful operatic songs, her character also gets to sing some more popular songs that you don’t usually hear from Grayson in other films.
The supporting cast is excellent too. Walter Abel is great (and humorous) as Moore’s harried father. His reactions when she performed “I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” had me rolling. The real highlight is Jeff Donnell as Henrietta, Moore’s bohemian roommate. She’s hysterical.
I know some facts in this film are most likely fictional, but overall this film is a joy to watch with beautiful music and humorous moments.
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