For the First Time
This was popular tenor Mario Lanza's last film before he died in Rome of a heart attack at the age of thirty-eight. The story follows the career and love interest of opera star Tonio Costa (Lanza), who is careless in regard to his professional engagements. Being more than a little irresponsible, he is his own worst enemy when it comes to his singing future. That is true until he meets a deaf woman, Christa (Johanna von Koczian), and falls in love with her. She turns his life around, as he dedicates himself to performing all he can in order to raise the needed funds to help her to hear again. Several highlights from well-known operas are included in the performance segments of the story, showing to full effect Lanza's stunning tenor voice. First thrown into the spotlight in the 1958 film The Student Prince, Lanza's performance in films got him unjustly banned from the stage at the Metropolitan Opera.