Carlotta Manson is a young and beautiful opera star who wants some spice in her personal life. She threatens to forsake opera for a wild, romantic fling. One night, a burglar, Barney McGann... See full summary »
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Carlotta Manson is a young and beautiful opera star who wants some spice in her personal life. She threatens to forsake opera for a wild, romantic fling. One night, a burglar, Barney McGann breaks into Carlotta's boudoir while she's asleep to steal her jewelery. Carlotta awakes and is facinated with Barney. They date and marry at her Villa in Italy. Soon Barney can't take being married to a diva and leaves her. Carlotta picks herself up and returns to opera. One night as Carlotta is asleep in her boudoir, she is awaken by someone breaking in... Written by
Jeanette MacDonald opens the film with the finale from Tristan And Isolde. Thankfully, she has been well recorded [early Fox films were rife with spoiled sound in spite of the fact Fox held the sound-on-film patents]. Charles Clark's cinematography weaves complex shadows into the foreground and background, his camera freed from the "meat locker" booth. The performance ends and backstage dialog begins. MacDonald is the snippy diva, she performs confidently and speaks clearly. Hey! there's Bela Lugosi could this get any better? Sadly, no,
The proceedings quickly fall apart, first with a miscast William Davidson as Kerry Stokes. This actor can be convincing as a police detective, grilling a suspect into a confession. But when he uses the same delivery, trying to romance Jeanette "what I ought to do is crush you in my arms and smother you with kisses"! I almost fell off my chair with laughter. That is some clunky dialog. But the saddest thing is that it was set up by a gorgeous close-up of Jeanette. It gets worse.
The plot thickens (congeals) with a burglar in the personage of Reginald Denny. He breaks into Jeanette's bedchamber to rob her jewels. When she protests his chloroform because she's an opera singer, he recognizes the diva, compliments her performance that evening, and speaks in the most ridiculous Irish accent you have ever heard. [That settles it, I'll sit on the floor so I won't fall again]. The writing reminded me of what I used to type when I was 10. Jeanette then decides to make this thief her protege! OK!
The writers are Phillip Klein and Lynn Stalling. Now Lynn would go onto earn credits for Bob Hope's THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES and CAT AND THE CANARY. Can't blame her, hmmm, Phillip Klein went on to write CHANDU THE MAGICIAN and a couple Charlie Chan films, aha! Mr. Klein's career climaxed with DANTE'S INFERNO, let's blame him. Anyhow, I'm obviously trying to be mean because there is so much good work in the film I was compelled to sit through Denny's insufferable performance and more horrible writing. I can only recommend this film for MacDonald and Lugosi fans on a completory quest.
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