Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Hampered by over-orchestrated music, smeary color photography and (in the English version at least) poor dubbing, this 1963 French/German adaptation of the Kurt Weill-Bertolt Brecht piece The Three Penny Opera nonetheless has its attractions. Not least of these is the central performance of Curt Jurgens as robber captain MacHeath, whose romance with Polly Peachum (June Ritchie), daughter of beggar king J. J. Peachum (Gert Frobe), puts his life in jeopardy. Hildegarde Neff has an effective cameo as whore-ish Pirate Jenny. For the film's American release, distributor Joseph E. Levine hired Sammy Davis Jr. to play the Ballad Singer, who narrates the story, introduces the scenes, and sings the opera's most famous song "Moritat (The Ballad of Mack the Knife)." Unlike the music in the rest of the film, Davis' rendition of "Mack the Knife" is rearranged in Bobby Darin "pop" fashion.
criminal, ballad, bum, daughter, romance, singer, slums