The movie "MELBA" was a beautiful costume piece, filmed in technicolor in London, Paris and Monte Carlo. The cast included Dame Marita Hunt, Robert Morley and John McCallum, to name a few, and Robert Schuler's book, "The Diva and I" gives amusing anecdotes about his life with Patrice Munsel while filming.
The movie was a watered down version of the life of the Australian Metropolitan Opera star,
Nellie Melba. She was such a "bitch" that her family refused to give the writers the okay to tell the true story of her life, so they gave the movie a "sweetness and light" theme that was ridiculous and certainly untruthful.
The famous producer, Sam Spiegel, produced the movie, and it was directed by Lewis Milestone (who replaced the first director who was an alcoholic). Harry Kurnitz wrote the screenplay.
Filmed while on their honeymoon, the movie, despite its "phoney" biography of Melba, was delightful. It gave Pat a chance to sing all of the famous coloratura arias (which she did beautifully) and show off her acting skills as well.
We hope that we will be able to offer this film on our website, together with videos from "The Patrice Munsel Show", as soon as legalities are completed. In the meantime, we recommend that you purchase a copy of Robert C. Schuler's book, "The Diva and I", published by Author House, to read Mr. Schuler's hilarious portrayal of the filming of this movie.
The book is available HERE.