Synopsis by Hal Erickson
At the time of its release, this filmization of Verdi's opera Il Trovatore was praised for its "cinematic" qualities: that is, it didn't look like just another photographed stage play. Director Carmine Gallone even expanded upon the battle sequences that are usually sketchily presented on stage. At 102 minutes, the film takes a lot less time getting to the tragically ironic finale than the original opera, which runs four full acts. The leading roles of gypsy woman Azucena and Conte di Luna are sung and acted by opera favorites Gianna Pederzini and Enzo Mascherini; on the other hand, hero and heroine Manrico (Gino Sinimberghi) and Leonora (Vittorina Colonello) appear to be dubbed. The choral numbers are performed by members of the Rome Opera House. One word of warning: anyone who's seen the Marx Brothers' Night at the Opera may have trouble getting through The Anvil Chorus with a straight face.