- The Student Prince (film)
: "This article is about the musical film. For other uses, see
Student Prince" Infobox Film
name = The Student Prince
writer = Sonya Levien
Dorothy Donnelly (play)
Wilhelm Meyer-Förster (novel and play)
Mario Lanza(voice only)
Betta St. John
John Williams Evelyn Varden John Hoyt
15 June 1954
runtime = 107 min
country = USA
language = English
imdb_id = 0047537
"The Student Prince" was a popular 1954 Cinemascope color film musical strangely starring, as the credits read, "the singing voice of
Mario Lanza". Lanza had become embroiled in a bitter dispute with MGMduring production and the studio dismissed him. Under the terms of the settlement with Lanza, MGM retained the film rights to the soundtrack that Lanza had already recorded. Edmund Purdomappeared as Prince Karl, mouthing the songs that Lanza had recorded. Ann Blythstarred as Kathie. Blyth had played opposite Lanza in the 1951 blockbuster " The Great Caruso".
The film also featured John Ericson,
Louis Calhern, Edmund Gwenn, S.Z. Sakall, Betta St. John, John Williams, Evelyn Vardenand John Hoyt.
Ironically, the songs from this film, (including "Beloved" - written especially for the movie - and the well-remembered "Serenade", from the original show), would become some of those most identified with Lanza.
The film was directed by
Richard Thorpe(who replaced the original director, Curtis Bernhardt) and produced by Joe Pasternak. The screenplaywas by Sonya Levienand William Ludwig and was based on the operetta " The Student Prince" by Sigmund Rombergand Dorothy Donnelly. New scenes and rewritten dialogue not found in the stage production were also added, although the basic plot remained the same. Additional songs were especially written by Nicholas Brodszkyand Paul Francis Webster. Many of Ms. Donnelly's original stage lyrics were completely changed for the film.
Albums made from the film
Lanza made two recordings of the songs from the movie - the first was a genuine film soundtrack recording, in
mono. In 1959, after stereohad become possible on records, another recording with Lanza was issued, but this time the role of Kathie was sung by soprano Norma Giusti, and the original Dorothy Donnelly lyrics were restored. Both albums, however, also included the three additional songs written especially for the film version.
A young Prince, Karl, from a small sub-kingdom of the German Empire near the turn of the 20th century is sent off to get a university education in Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg. His grandfather was one of a handful of petty kings within German and Austrian central Europe. Fictional Karlsburg was small but very proud of their nationhood and traditions.
Karl has been raised most of his life for the military, but when it comes time for him to marry, the princess picked for him can't stand his stiff formality. This would not be such a problem but for the fact that Karlsburg has no money, only good blood. His tutor recommends that he be sent to University to learn "charm" and essentially develop some social skills. He (eventually) slips into the social mix, becomes accepted as a "good chap" by his student peers, and falls deeply in love with a pretty, popular, and musically inclined barmaid, who holds "court" in the local
biergarten. Love notwithstanding, when his old grandfather passes on unexpectedly, the young Prince must turn his back on the girl, and take his place in the small Kingdom that he's been preordained to rule. He returns for one more visit to Heidelberg, and bids Kathie a poignant farewell.
*imdb title|id=0047537|title=The Student Prince
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