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In Oslo, Norway, Jenny (who loves stalwart Chris) enters a dance marathon to help her embezzler brother out of a jam; her actions cause misunderstanding and Chris flees to a far northern mining camp. In despair, Jenny signs up as a "picture bride" who by tragic irony is promised to Chris's brother Olaf...at that same mining camp. Then Chris's rival Alberto arrives on a polar dirigible expedition. Which brother will join his voyage, perhaps to doom? Very stylized. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Only the edited 1937 re-release, running 67 minutes, with the original 2-strip Technicolor finale in black and white, was available for many years. But a complete print, running 79 minutes and including the Technicolor finale, survived at the George Eastman House. In 2011, it was run on Turner Classic Movies. See more »
An operetta about an Italian dirigible heading for the North Pole in a snowstorm has a lot going against it. Add to that - or rather subtract from that - a score by Rudolf Friml that does not have even one even slightly catchy number, and a script that gets worse and worse as it goes along, leaving reason and logic somewhere behind on the Norwegian tundra, and you have The Lottery Bride. Seldom has so much talent been so totally wasted, I'm afraid.
Jeanette MacDonald is really in very good voice in this picture, in particular in her one duet with her leading man. She does some fine singing, but it's a shame it's of music that is so completely bland. The two male leads also sing well.
But this plot is strictly from hunger - and I normally have no problem with silly operetta plots. This one is not at all funny. It is tedious melodrama with a lot of excessive acting.
If you like Jeanette MacDonald, as I do, you may be tempted to dismiss this review and give it a try. You'll be sorry, but you'll survive.
I can only wonder why Oscar Hammerstein would have wanted to produce this. It truly has absolutely nothing going for it. I couldn't wait for it to end, and didn't think it ever would. Actually, it doesn't come to an end; it just stops. There is still the crew of that dirigible stranded on the ice near the North Pole, and we never find out how they will get rescued. But we don't want to sit through any more to find out.
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