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That Midnight Kiss/The Toast of New Orleans [DVD]

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Special Features

  • Disc 1
  • One Love of Mine outtake
  • Pete Smith Specialty comedy short Sports Oddities
  • Classic cartoon Señor Droopy
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Disc 2
  • New documentary profile
  • Mario Lonza - Singing to the Gods
  • Vintage Fitzpatrick Traveltalk shorts
  • Modern New Orleans and Old New Orleans


The Toast of New Orleans
So far as their fans were concerned, Mario Lanza and Kathryn Grayson could have stood up against a blank wall and sung uninterruptedly for 96 minutes in Toast of New Orleans. MGM, however, adhered to the policy that all movies must have plots. This one finds Lanza playing Pepe Abellard Duvalle, a shrimp fisherman from Louisiana's bayou country, while Grayson plays Suzette Micheline, a famed opera singer. After he witnesses an impromptu duet between Pepe and Suzette at an outdoor restaurant, Suzette's manager Jacques Riboudeaux (David Niven) decides to groom Pepe for singing stardom. In so doing, Jacques has put the kibosh on his own romance with Suzette, but that's why he gets third billing. Toast of New Orleans is a typical Joe Pasternak production, all bright smiles, lilting songs and happy people in Living Technicolor. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

That Midnight Kiss
That Midnight Kiss served to introduce the film-going public to MGM's newest singing sensation, Mario Lanza. Just as he did with Deanna Durbin at Universal, producer Joe Pasternak removes the "stuffy" onus attached to classical music by presenting Lanza as a down-to-earth truck driver named Johnny Donetti. When it turns out that Johnny has a splendid singing voice, he gets a minor job at the Philadelphia opera company sponsored by aristocratic Abigail Trent Budell (Ethel Barrymore). Abigail's granddaughter Prudence (Kathryn Grayson) is instrumental in bringing Johnny to public attention by insisting that he replace the opera troupe's defecting star tenor. Featured in the cast are Keenan Wynn as Lanza's best pal, J. Carroll Naish as his "Whatsa matta you?" Italian father, and MGM's resident musical genius Jose Iturbi as himself. That Midnight Kiss served its purpose by transforming the relatively unknown Mario Lanza into a box-office champion. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Kathryn Grayson
    Kathryn Grayson - Suzette Micheline
  • Mario Lanza
    Mario Lanza - Pepe Abellard Duvalle
  • David Niven
    David Niven - Jacques Riboudeaux
  • J. Carrol Naish
    J. Carrol Naish - Nicky Duvalle
  • James Mitchell
    James Mitchell - Pierre
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