APRIL MOVIE THON DAY 3: Yes, Giorgio (1982)

MGM announced they had signed a deal with Lucio Pavarotti to star in this movie and he responded by saying, “I have done a lot of television and think I have the experience to do a movie. I will put myself in the hands of those making this but hopefully my sense of humor will come through.”

Producer Peter Fetterman said, “I just knew that someone had to make a movie with Pavarotti. He’s got so much charisma. A talent like his appears only once in every generation.”

Executive producer Herbert Breslin chimed in with, “We’re not going to skimp on it. We’ll spend whatever it takes to make a movie right for Mr. Pavarotti.”

The result?

$2.3 million back on a $19 million budget, but based on this Newsweek article, the estimated loss was $45.9 million. Pretty steep for a movie made because Gladys Begelman, wife of David Begelman, the COO and president of MGM at that time, was an opera lover.

But it was Pavarotti’s debut in the movies!

He plays world-famous Italian tenor opera singer Giorgio Fini — hmm, a stretch — who has mental issues preventing him from singing at the Met. That’s when his business manager Henry Pollack (Eddie Albert, I’m so sorry) introduces him to throat specialist Pamela Taylor (Kathryn Harrold from The Sender) who he refuses to see because why could a woman be a doctor?

It gets better. Or worse. Because the entire movie is him pursuing her, even though he has a wife and kids, and tells her it will mean nothing and yet, she falls for this sexist man with talent and still gets hurt, but it’s a comedy.

Franklin J. Schaffner made Planet of the ApesPatton and The Boys from Brazil. He deserved better. Or maybe he deserves the blame because this movie is pure pain. Or perhaps it’s the script by Norman Steinberg, who also wrote Blazing Saddles, Johnny Dangerously and Wise Guys. Or could it be Anne Piper, who wrote the book this was based on?

Nah, I think we know who was at fault.

Pavarotti refused to work more than 12 hours a day and would do no work after 8PM. He would only be filmed in angles that made him look smaller, just one of the many demands that led the crew to call the movie No, Luciano.

This movie starts with “This story is dedicated to lovers everywhere.”

I hate you, lovers.

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