For the First Time (1959) - Rotten Tomatoes

For the First Time (1959)

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Movie Info

This was popular tenor Mario Lanza's last film before he died in Rome of a heart attack at the age of thirty-eight. The story follows the career and love interest of opera star Tonio Costa (Lanza), who is careless in regard to his professional engagements. Being more than a little irresponsible, he is his own worst enemy when it comes to his singing future. That is true until he meets a deaf woman, Christa (Johanna von Koczian), and falls in love with her. She turns his life around, as he dedicates himself to performing all he can in order to raise the needed funds to help her to hear again. Several highlights from well-known operas are included in the performance segments of the story, showing to full effect Lanza's stunning tenor voice. First thrown into the spotlight in the 1958 film The Student Prince, Lanza's performance in films got him unjustly banned from the stage at the Metropolitan Opera.

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Cast

Mario Lanza
as Tonio Costa
Zsa Zsa Gabor
as Gloria De Vadnuz
Kurt Kasznar
as Ladislas Tabory
Hans Söhnker
as Prof. Bruckner
Annie Rosar
as Mathilde
Peter Capell
as Leopold Huebner
Walter Rilia
as Dr. Bessart
Sandro Giglio
as Alessandro
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Critic Reviews for For the First Time

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Audience Reviews for For the First Time

Lanza's last film is an enjoyable lightweight concoction with some lovely scenery and the star in glorious voice. He performs many songs and as usual those are the strongest parts of the film since Mario was more of a personality than an actor but his part doesn't demand too much of him and he does fine with it. While Lanza sounds wonderful he's not looking his best, probably a result of his hard living ways which of course resulted in his passing shortly after the completion of this film. Someone who is a knockout is Zsa Zsa Gabor, her part is small but she perks up the picture every time she sweeps onto the screen beautifully dressed and oozing a sophistication that would be hard to find today.

jay nixon
jay nixon

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