Giuseppe Verdi (1938)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 123 min.  |   Countries - Italy   |  
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Giuseppe Verdi was also released as The Life of Verdi for the benefit of filmgoers who had trouble grasping the obvious. Fosco Giachetti stars as the title character, aging nearly 30 years in the course of the film. The story begins when the teenaged Verdi leaves his hometown behind to study music in Milan, only to face rejection from the school's hide-bound board of directors. He is forced to endure several subsequent setbacks until he is helped along the road to success by sympathetic opera diva Giuseppina (Gaby Morlay), whom he eventually marries. An amusing later moment finds Verdi and a pompous tenor (Beniamino Gigli) rehearsing the La Donna e Mobile aria from Rigoletto, all the while attempting to keep this composition secret from potential music thieves. The film ends with the triumphant premiere of Aida in Egypt, in commemoration of the opening of the Suez Canal.