Paul Verlaine (John Garrick) is a struggling young composer in Paris. Most folks have little interest in his work, however, he's spotted by a rich and spoiled brat (Margot Grahame) who takes him under her wing. Despite the wonderful (but awful singing) Germanine (Merle Oberon) loving him, he is lured to the rich lady who he thinks loves him. However, their marriage soon sours and she begins cheating on him and partying all night long. During this time, he's amazingly dense until he happens to catch her with one of her lovers--then bad things happen.
As I sat and watched "The Broken Melody" (a.k.a. "Vagabond Violinist"), I had to really struggle to keep paying attention. It's because despite the subject matter, the movie was incredibly dull. Part of it was the very emotionless acting, part of it was sloppy direction and part of it was because the film lacked any sort of punch. Even when the main character was sent to Devil's Island, the film seemed amazingly uninteresting. Much of it was because Paul seemed quite dumb and difficult to like. The most likable was Germaine, but she sang like a cow caught in an electric fence. Overall, an incredibly dated and dull film from start to finish. The only fun I had was listening to some of the characters forget their French accents in some scenes only to pick it up in the next!
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