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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carlee Thorpe
Claire Jernigan
Hilda Schmittlap
Zelda Paxton
Eric Schmittlap
Mr. Jacob Schmittlap
Mrs. Jacob Schmittlap
Maude Turner Gordon ...
Queen of Dalmatia
William Austin ...
Mr. Z
Emilie Melville ...
Mother Fay
Frances Raymond ...
Mrs. Y
Catherine Wallace ...
Mrs. Z
J.E. Nash ...
Mr. X
William McLaughlin ...
Mr. Y
Eddie Kane ...
Gus Bloomberg


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

theater | See All (1) »


Charles "Buddy" Rogers and Nancy Carroll in the talking, singing, dancing successor to "Close Harmony". (Poster). See more »







Release Date:

21 September 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ilusão  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A nitrate print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives, and is not listed for preservation. See more »


When the Real Thing Comes Your Way
Written by Larry Spier and Sam Coslow
Copyright 1929 by Remick Music Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

Backstager with the chemistry of Rogers and Carroll
16 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Buddy Rogers and Nancy Carroll play Carlee Thorpe and Claire Jernigan, respectively. They are members of a traveling circus/vaudeville troupe, and they obviously have romantic feelings for one another but their pride gets in the way. What also gets in the way is Carlee's desire to be accepted as part of high society. He is good at cards and card tricks due to his place in the circus, so he uses that ability to get into games with the high society audiences that his troupe plays before. As a result, he begins to spark up a romance with débutante Hilda Schmittlap (June Colyer). The thing is, Hilda is a bit of an outsider too since her family is "noveau riche" - her dad is a self made man and started out as a truck driver. Although such things are a source of admiration today, in the 20's and before the older and more tired your blue blood was, the more you were admired. Thus the Schmittlaps are considered a bit of a joke in the society crowd.

Meanwhile, Hilda's brother, Eric, is a loafer and a lady's man, and he has an eye for Claire. Claire at first refuses his offers of dates, but when the head of the circus says that the best way to get Carlee might be to make him think that she has lost interest, she starts going out with Eric.

One of the big acts that the circus has is a firing squad trick in which 5 men are chosen from the audience at random to shoot real bullets at Claire as she stands on the stage. The bullets miss her and wind up on a plate she holds in front of her instead. The act is such a hit that the pair get a big offer from an agent to do their act independently, but Carlee turns the offer down, leaving Claire in the lurch. Carlee wants to spend his time wooing Hilda.

There is a big finale at the Schmittlap home with the circus playing there, Carlee talking matrimony to Hilda, and Claire feeling like she has lost Carlee as she sees him with another woman. And then there is the big firing squad trick finale with Claire and her new partner...What happens? I'd say watch and find out but that is unlikely since the only time I've seen this one anywhere was at Capitolfest 2015.

Why haven't I mentioned Kay Francis? Because although she does show up she has only a few lines. It will be 1930 before Kay reaches star status over at Paramount. For film buffs this is definitely worth your time if it ever comes your way.

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