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Favorite Melodies (1929)

 -  Short | Music  -  16 March 1929 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 24 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Singer Ruth Etting sings two popular tunes of 1929. The whole short is filmed in one take.

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Singer Ruth Etting sings two popular tunes of 1929. The whole short is filmed in one take.

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Short | Music

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16 March 1929 (USA)  »

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Paramount Movietone: Ruth Etting in Favorite Melodies  »

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1.20 : 1
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Soundtracks

That's Him Now
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Sung by Ruth Etting
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Like the title says
5 February 2010 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

Singer Ruth Etting is remembered today primarily through the 1955 "biopic" Love Me or Leave Me, starring Doris Day as Etting and James Cagney as her husband and manager, a dangerous, limping gangster named Snyder. The screenplay of that film took liberties with the facts, but apparently the basic outline of the story was true: Etting married Snyder in 1922, and he used his underworld contacts (and the unspoken threat of violence) to guide her career from nightclubs to recording studios, radio, and eventually to Hollywood. Still, while it must have been convenient at times to have a gangster for a boyfriend, Etting never would have made the grade as a popular singer if she hadn't had the talent to back it up. Her recordings and film appearances indicate that she was indeed a gifted vocalist with a throaty delivery and dark, sexy eyes.

When this short was released in March of 1929 talkies were still a novelty, and it was enough for audiences to simply hear the performers' voices. Later musical shorts from Paramount and other studios were livelier and more imaginative in their effects, but this early effort is simple and unadorned. Etting stands in the doorway of a living room set which features decor in the latest Art Deco style. She wears a simple black sleeveless evening gown with a corsage, and sings two songs, directly to the camera. The first is a sentimental ballad about mother love ("My Mother's Eyes") and the second is a jazzier, peppier number about waiting expectantly for her boyfriend to arrive ("That's Him Now"). Ruth has more fun with the second number: she smiles, gestures, and offers a bit of restrained hip-shaking.

This short would make a nice companion piece to Love Me or Leave Me, for viewers interested in getting a look at the real Ruth Etting.


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