Music: Only Make-Believe

Hollywood can do anything. Liszt had never even tried to write a serious opera. Mendelssohn had started one but never finished it. Hollywood fashioned two operas and signed their names to them.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer wanted something operatic for Two Sisters from Boston (TIME, June 17). MGM's musicmakers scrambled through the classics. The trouble was, none of the old boys knew how to start an opera right. They had a rousing overture, the curtain rose, and a bunch of minor characters went into some tedious, scene-setting song. What Hollywood wanted was an overture, curtain, and zowie—a...

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