For the First Time (1959 film)

For the First Time is tenor star Mario Lanza's final film, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer six weeks before his death in 1959.

For the First Time
Directed byRudolph Maté
Produced byCorona Filmproduktion
Orion Films
Written byAndrew Solt
StarringMario Lanza
Johanna von Koczian
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Music byGeorge Stoll
CinematographyAldo Tonti
Edited byGene Ruggiero
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
26 August 1959
Running time
92 min.
CountryItaly and United States
Box office$1,685,000[1]

Filmed on location in 1958 in Capri, Salzburg, Berlin and at the Rome Opera House, the film told the sentimental story of an operatic tenor (Tony Costa) who finds love for the first time with a young German woman (played by Johanna von Koczian), who happens to be deaf.

The film was directed by Rudolph Mate, and featured Kurt Kasznar and Zsa Zsa Gabor in supporting roles. Critics singled out Lanza's singing of "Vesti la Giubba" from Pagliacci and the Death Scene from Otello for special praise, with Howard Thompson of The New York Times calling it the tenor's "most disarming vehicle in years."


Box office

According to MGM records the film earned $710,000 in the US and Canada and $975,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $1,685,000.[1]

See also


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.

Cesari, Armando. Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Fort Worth: Baskerville, 2004).

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