For the First Time
Directed byRudolph Maté
Produced byPaul Baron
Alexander Grüter
Max Koslowski
Alfredo Panone
Georg von Block
Written byAndrew Solt
StarringMario Lanza
Johanna von Koczian
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Music byGeorge Stoll
CinematographyAldo Tonti
Edited byGene Ruggiero
Corona Filmproduktion
Orion Films
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Constantin Film
Release date
26 August 1959
Running time
92 minutes
United States
West Germany
Box office$1,685,000[1]

For the First Time is a 1959 musical film directed by Rudolph Mate and starring Mario Lanza, Johanna von Koczian Kurt Kasznar and Zsa Zsa Gabor. It was tenor star Mario Lanza's final film, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer six weeks before his death. The film tells the sentimental story of an operatic tenor (Tony Costa) who finds love for the first time with a young German woman (played by Johanna von Koczian), who happens to be deaf.

It was shot at the Spandau Studios in Berlin and on location in 1958 in Capri, Salzburg, Berlin and at the Rome Opera House. The film's sets were designed by the art directors Hans Jürgen Kiebach, Fritz Maurischat and Heinrich Weidemann.


Critics singled out Lanza's singing of "Vesti la Giubba" from Pagliacci and the Death Scene from Otello for special praise, with Howard Thompson of The New York Times calling it the tenor's "most disarming vehicle in years."[citation needed]


Box office

According to MGM records the film earned $710,000 in the US and Canada and $975,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $1,685,000.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.

Cesari, Armando. Mario Lanza: An American Tragedy (Fort Worth: Baskerville, 2004).