Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Rest easy: The Barber of Seville does not star Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer. This literal translation of the Giacomo Rossini comic opera stars Roger Bussonet as the resourceful Figaro, while Lucille Jourfier plays Rosine, whose romantic entanglements consume most of the plotline. For the benefit of those who don't speak Italian, a narrator explains what's about to happen at the beginning of each act (a common practice in filmed operas of the periodAida). The Rossini original runs five acts and some three hours; the film is pared down to 98 minutes, a blessing in that the singers aren't quite the equal of the material. Made in France, the 1949 Barber of Seville was the second movie adaptation of the Rossini opera within a two- year period; the first was lensed in Italy in 1947.