- Run Time: 1 hours, 27 minutes
- Video: Color
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Released: August 20, 2019
- Originally Released: 1951
- Label: Alpha Video
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
Sexy nightclub singer Frederica Barlo dreams of becoming a star and meeting her very own "Prince Charming." She strikes up a romance with a mysterious stranger who goes by the name "Mr. Imperium." He is really Prince Alexis, the heir apparent to a small European nation. When his father suddenly dies, Alexis secretly rushes home without telling anyone. Twelve years later, Frederica has become a famous Hollywood starlet, but is resigned to a life without "Mr. Imperium." A chance meeting rekindles their romance, but now Alexis must choose between the duties of a king and the woman he loves...
Mr. Imperium is a charming, unfairly overlooked MGM Technicolor musical with an all-star cast. It was intended as a showcase for Italian opera singer Ezio Pinza, who had recently garnered great acclaim in South Pacific on Broadway. Mr. Imperium is actually the first film he made for MGM, but it was released after his second, Strictly Dishonorable (1951). Louis B. Mayer, unsatisfied with his investment in the Metropolitan Opera star, worried that Pinza came off as a "dirty old man" in his scenes with romantic interest Lana Turner (who was nearly 30 years his junior.) The curvy blonde bombshell didn't get along with Pinza either, and resisted starring in a musical on the grounds she wasn't a singer (her singing voice was dubbed by Trudy Erwin.) One positive effect was that Mayer noticed a young Debbie Reynolds in her small part in this film, and cast her in Singin' in the Rain (1952), making Reynolds a star. Ezio Pinza returned to Broadway after the release of Mr. Imperium, and found continued success there until his death from a stroke in 1957.