That Midnight Kiss (1949)

Genres - Musical, Romance  |   Release Date - Sep 22, 1949 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

That Midnight Kiss launched the film career of operatic tenor Mario Lanza in a big way, despite the fact that the plot, as flimsy as it is, is borrowed from dozens of other films. The most notable is Forty-Second Street, and that should tell any viewer familiar with the film all they need to know about the story and whether they are going to be able to sit through its trite predictability and unimaginative dialogue to enjoy the parade of musical numbers. Lanza is probably an acquired taste to modern audiences; if his acting is not quite as stiff as many other opera stars, it still is not as pliable as it needs to be to come across as an ordinary Joe who just happens to have a professionally trained voice. His singing is also a matter of taste, although it must be said that he is in perhaps his finest voice in Kiss. Kathryn Grayson also sounds quite good and she does the best she can with the schmaltzy script. The stars are given a sumptuous production, with lavish sets and costumes and musical arrangements that point out their assets very well. The supporting cast, with the likes of Ethel Barrymore and Keenan Wynn, are overqualified for their roles, but they don't let that stop them from turning in very fine performances. If That Midnight Kiss is less than a great musical, it does do a good job of giving "legit" lovers a chance to revel in some "grand" singing.