Strictly Dishonorable (1951 film)
|Directed by||Melvin Frank
|Produced by||Melvin Frank
|Written by||Melvin Frank
|Based on||Strictly Dishonorable
by Preston Sturges
|Music by||Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
|Edited by||Cotton Warburton|
|July 3, 1951 (US)|
Strictly Dishonorable is a 1951 romantic comedy film written, produced and directed by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama, and starring Ezio Pinza and Janet Leigh. It is the second film to be based on Preston Sturges' 1929 hit Broadway play of the same name after a pre-Code film released by Universal Pictures in 1931 with the same title.
In New York in the 1920s, amorous opera star Augustino "Gus" Caraffa (Ezio Pinza) crosses paths with Isabelle Perry (Janet Leigh), a naive music student from Mississippi who is his biggest fan. When a news photographer catches them in a kiss, it is proposed that they get married in name only to avoid a scandal. Isabelle, who is in love with Gus, agrees to the charade, hoping that he will eventually fall in love with her.
- Ezio Pinza as Count Augustino "Gus" Caraffa
- Janet Leigh as Isabelle Perry
- Millard Mitchell as Bill Dempsey
- Gale Robbins as Marie Donnelly
- Maria Palmer as Countess Lili Szadvany
- Esther Minciotti as Mme. Maria Caraffa
- Silvio Minciotti as Uncle Nito
- Arthur Franz as Henry Greene
- Sandro Giglio as Tomasso
- Hugh Sanders as Harry Donnelly
- Mario Siletti as Luigi
- Opera star Pinza had previously shot the film Mr. Imperium before working on Strictly Dishonorable, but the current film was released first, so it marks his dramatic acting debut. Pinza went on to make only one more film, Tonight We Sing (1953), with Roberta Peters and Isaac Stern.
- Greta Garbo, John Gilbert and Lewis Stone among others, appear in archival footage from the silent film A Woman of Affairs (1928). Stone played the part of "Judge Dempsey" in the 1931 version of Strictly Dishonorable.
- The operatic scenes were staged by Vladimir Rosing.
- "Dempsey" was the maiden name of Preston Sturges' mother.
- The prolific comic character actress Kathleen Freeman appears uncredited as a movie theatre organist.
- Scott R. Beal, who appears uncredited in the bit part of a vendor, was primarily an assistant director. He received an Academy Award as "Best Assistant Director" in 1934 and was nominated again in 1935.
- "I'll See You in My Dreams" - by Isham Jones (music) and Gus Kahn (lyrics)
- "Everything I Have Is Yours" - by Burton Lane (music) and Harold Adamson (lyrics)
- "La veau d'or" from the opera Faust - by Charles Gounod (music) and Jules Barbier and Michel Carré (libretto)
- "Se a caso madama" from the opera Le nozze di Figaro - by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (music) and Lorenzo da Ponte (libretto)
- Unnamed aria from the opera Il ritorno di Césare - by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (music and lyrics)
- Il ritorno di Césare is a fictitious opera created by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco for the film, and staged by Vladimir Rosing.
Preston Sturges approached MGM with the idea of doing a remake of Strictly Dishonorable with Ezio Pinza, and received $60,000 for the rights, but was disappointed when he was not hired to write the screenplay.
According to MGM records the film earned $660,000 in the US and Canada and $221,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $664,000.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- TCM Full synopsis
- Erickson, Hal Plot synopsis (Allmovie)
- TCM Notes
- Ezio Pinza at the Internet Movie Database
- Tonight We Sing at the Internet Movie Database
- Strictly Dishonorable (1951) at the Internet Movie Database
- Scott R. Beal at the Internet Movie Database
- TCM Music
- TCM Overview
- IMDB Release dates
- Kirby, Walter (December 7, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 52. Retrieved June 14, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.