Rigoletto (1949)

Genres - Musical  |   Sub-Genres - Film-Opera  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - Italy, USA  |  
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Sweet revenge turns horribly sour in Verdi's tragic opera Rigoletto. This Italian film version of the Verdi classic was lensed at the Royal Opera House of Rome. As a result, it isn't very cinematic, though the singing cannot be faulted. The great Tito Gobbi stars as Rigoletto, the hunchbacked jester whose desire to wreak vengeance on the Duke of Mantua (Mario Fillepeschi) results in dire consequence for the jester's beloved daughter Gilda. The last-named role is acted by Marcella Govoni and sung by Lina Pagliughi; the lip-synching doesn't always match, except during the evenly paced "Caro Nome". Incredibly, this grim tale of revenge, rape and murder used to be listed as a "comic opera" in the TV listings of the Chicago Tribune, moving one reader to respond that "for real laughs, why not try Aida, where the lovers are buried alive?"

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Keywords

love, aristocracy, court-jester, daughter, jester, life-savings, music, opera, sacrifice, self-sacrifice, songwriter