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MGM star Mario Lanza's career was at its apex when production began on the musical Seven Hills of Rome (1958, a.k.a. Arrivederci Roma). Lanza, who had recently moved to Italy, insisted that the film be shot on location there, and MGM readily agreed. Lanza, who was born in America but ultimately died in Italy, stars in the somewhat autobiographical role of an American singing star.
Travelling through Italy searching for his jet-setting girlfriend, Lanza befriends a local girl who teaches him the true meaning of love. Together, they tour ancient ruins from a helicopter, and Lanza performs an exuberant musical number on a sienna-hued staircase and in an outdoor marketplace.
The travelogue pace is augmented by stunning aerial photography - a clever approach to viewing architectural antiquity on film - and charming scenes of strolls in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Director: Roy Rowland
Producer: Lester Welch
Screenplay: Art Cohn, Giorgio Prosperi (based on a story by Giuseppe Amato)
Cinematography: Tonino Delli Colli
Editor: Gene Ruggiero
Art Direction: Piero Filippone
Music: George Stoll, Irving Aaronson
Cast: Mario Lanza (Marc Revere), Renato Rascel (Pepe Bonelli), Marisa Allasio (Rafaella Marini), Peggie Castle (Carol Ralston).