A comic group of Europeans coming to the USA have romantic and immigration troubles.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Larry Beaumont
...
Chris Jansen
Raul Roulien ...
Sascha
Lawrence O'Sullivan ...
Detective O'Flynn
Manya Roberti ...
Olga
Virginia Cherrill ...
Diana Van Bergh
Olive Tell ...
Mrs. Van Bergh
...
Mischa
Marvine Maazel ...
Toscha
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Storyline

A varied group of immigrants head for the USA aboard S.S. Mauronia, including Russians Sascha, Mischa, Toscha, and Olga. Sascha has fallen for Scots lassie Heather; Olga is courted by Chris Jansen, valet of first class passenger Larry Beaumont. Heather catches Larry's eye, to the discomfiture of Larry's other flame Diana. On arrival, Heather has immigration trouble, and a variety of complications ensue... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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27 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deliciosa  »

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(MovieTone)

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1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sascha: I gave a bride away once.
Chris Jansen: You should have let the husband find out for himself.
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Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Janet Gaynor (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream Sequence
(uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Sung by male chorus in dream sequence
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User Reviews

A Taste of American Life
21 February 2004 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

DELICIOUS (Fox, 1931), directed by David Butler, is a sugar-coated love story featuring the then highly popular romantic team of Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell in their ninth movie together. With the plot following the pattern of their initial talkie, SUNNY SIDE UP (Fox, 1929), DELICIOUS, is also a musical, but on a better scale largely due to the forgettable but yet somewhat interesting score by George and Ira Gershwin, and mainly because, this time around, Charles Farrell doesn't get to sing. Gaynor, like Farrell, is no professional singer, but unlike Farrell, her girlish vocalization gets by. As a Scottish girl, however, her accent sometimes strays away from her character, which in turn, when speaking as the Scots do, is not totally convincing.

Gaynor plays Heather Gordon, a lively as well as lovely young Scottish orphan, accompanied by her dog, Tammy, is traveling third class on the USS Maudonia bound for America to live with her Uncle Angus. During the ocean voyage, she is accompanied by fellow Russian passengers who take a liking to her, especially Sasha (Raul Roulien), who not only thinks she is "delicious," but loves her well enough to want to marry her, but she refuses. On the first class deck are Lawrence Beaumont (Charles Farrell), a wealthy polo-playing American, who is accompanied by his débutante fiancée, Diana Van Bergh (Virginia Cherrill), and her equally snobbish mother (Olive Tell). Diana becomes jealous when she finds Larry taking notice on Heather (whom she had mistaken for a groom in a horse's stable). Before the boat docks, Larry, entrusts Diana with a letter to give to Heather where she is to contact him if she is ever in need of his assistance, but when Mrs. Van Bergh learns of it, she takes the letter from her daughter, tears it up and throws the pieces overboard. Upon arrival on Ellis Island, Heather is surprised to learn from the passport agent that she must return to Scotland because her uncle has suffered some financial losses and is unable to support her. Believing she could take care of herself once she gets a job, Heather escapes Detective O'Flynn (Lawrence O'Sullivan) and other immigration authorities by running through the ship and takes refuge in a stall where Larry's horse, Poncho, is kept. The horse is then brought over to Larry's estate where she is secretly cared for by his valet, Kris Jansen (El Brendel), whom she had met earlier while on passage. But when Heather is discovered, much to the delight of Larry, she decides not to be a burden by locating Sasha and agreeing on becoming his bride. After Larry is injured in a polo match, Heather hears of this on a radio broadcast and comes to Larry's estate to be near him. But the ever more jealous Diana decides to put an end to this nonsense by notifying the authorities to take Heather away.

The musical segments include: "O Tchonya," "Delicious" (sung by Raul Roulien); "We're From the Journal" and The Melting Pot" (a musical dream sequence with Janet Gaynor, sung by reporters from the Journal, Statue of Liberty and others); "Somebody From Somewhere" (sung by Janet Gaynor); "Katinkitschka" (sung by Janet Gaynor and Mischa Auer); "Blah, Blah, Blah" (sung by El Brendel); and "New York Rhapsody" (instrumental segment featuring Gaynor's stroll through the New York City streets).

While the score for "New York Rhapsody" might not be in the same league as "Rhapsody in Blue" or as memorable as some of the other Gershwin masterpieces, this one that stands out in true Gershwin fashion, underscored by piano and orchestration, visually impressive with the city's lights and stylized sets and shadows, reminiscent to Gaynor's earlier silent classic, SUNRISE (Fox, 1927), but not as effective. Looking more European in style than New York City, it does include in the soundtrack sounds of honking cars and gathering of people talking as Gaynor's Heather tries to escape her problems by being taken back by the customs official O'Flynn. At times, resembling "film noir" due to its darkness, it's quite artistic to a point with all the ingredients for which Gershwin is famous. This makes DELICIOUS one of its few high points of the story. As with SUNNY SIDE UP, Gaynor does take time to sing a song, in this instance, "Somebody From Somewhere," to the movie audience by looking directly into the camera. But of all the songs presented, only the title tune is catchy as well as memorable, especially when underscored during the dialogued portions of the story.

Besides the fact that Gaynor and Farrell were a popular screen team, much of the focus in this presentation is more on Gaynor. El Brendel, the Swedish accented character actor of many Fox films who, at times, resembles silent comedian Harry Langdon, does provide some offbeat humor such as playing a deaf mute supplying his made up sign language. Brendel also partakes as the third part of the romantic couple, here as the love interest to Olga (Manya Roberti), Sasha's sister. Raul Roulien, a Brazilian performer, best known solely as the second leading man opposite Dolores Del Rio in FLYING DOWN TO RIO (RKO, 1933), with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (in supporting roles. Virginia Cherrill, the memorable blind girl in Charlie Chaplin's masterpiece, CITY LIGHTS (1931), is believable as the attractive upper crustier girl, but fails to deliver herself as the fine actress here as she did under Chaplin's guidance.

At the time frame of 106 minutes (15 minutes shorter than SUNNY SIDE UP), DELICIOUS may not be for all tastes for contemporary viewers but on the whole, is an agreeable affair. This very rare find of DELICIOUS, at present, turns up sporadically either on cable television's The Fox Movie Channel or Turner Classic Movies (TCM premiere: December 14, 2011). (**1/2)


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