Opera singer superstar Renato Rossano (Mario Lanza) is drafted into the U.S. Army. His sergeant, "Bat" Batterson (James Whitmore), is an opera fan who admires Rossano and wishes Rossano to appraise his sister's (Doretta Morrow) singing voice. The rest of his platoon as well as the company commander disapproves of Batterson's showing favoritism to Rossano by excusing him from normal training.
Rossano schemes to have Batterson allow him to go to New York, supposedly to have his manager appraise Batterson's sister Brigit's singing voice but in reality allowing him to do a performance. After realizing he's been tricked, the sergeant sets out to make Rossano's military life considerably more difficult.Mario Lanza as Renaldo Rossano
Doretta Morrow as Bridget Batterson
James Whitmore as Sergeant 'Bat' Batterson
Dean Miller as Ben Jones
Rita Corday as Francesca Landers (as Paula Corday)
Jeff Donnell as Patty Ware
Spring Byington as Mrs. Edna Montville
Curtis Cooksey as General Louis Montville
Don Porter as Captain Burton Nordell Loring
Eduard Franz as Albert Parkson Foster
Bobby Van as Artie Pilcer
Ralph Reed as Horsey Jackson
Celia Lovsky as Mrs. Rossano
Alexander Steinert as Maestro Paradoni
Principal photography of the film was interrupted and during the hiatus Lanza put on a considerable amount of weight. According to his manager, Lanza then began to lose weight and ended filming at less than 160 pounds. This resulted in some challenges for both the wardrobe artists and the film editors who had to deal with Lanza's substantial fluctuations in weight over the course of production. In one scene, Lanza's character enters a church. In the exterior, shot late in the filming schedule, he looks trim and slim in his military uniform. But, when he steps inside, in a scene filmed earlier, he is noticeably heavier. Dore Schary, MGM studio head at the time, has recounted Lanza's petulant and boorish behavior on the set, including sexually harassing costar Doretta Morrow.
The soldiers in the film wear a shoulder sleeve insignia that resembles the 28th Infantry Division that is worn by actual soldiers in footage of a military parade used in the movie.
The title song, "Because You're Mine", earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. Written by Sammy Cahn and Nicholas Brodszky, it became Lanza's third and final million-selling effort.
Musical highlights in the film included "Granada", "The Lord's Prayer", and "Addio, Addio" from Rigoletto.
Because You're Mine premiered September 25, 1952 in New York City, going into wide release October 3. According to MGM records, it earned $2,267,000 in the US and Canada and $2,304,000 elsewhere, resulting in profits of $735,000. It was the fifth most popular movie at the British box office in 1953, and was chosen for the inaugural Royal Command Film Performance of Queen Elizabeth II's reign.
Though popular at the box office, it was not a critical success. Bosley Crowther of the New York Times voiced a common opinion, finding the film's plot "banal" and observing, "It's really Mario Lanza's singing that should and will attract attention to this technicolored film."