Victor Florescu is a talented, Brussels-based composer of serious music under the tutelage of respected Professor Bertier at the Music Conservatory. He is hoping to have his yet uncompleted operetta, "The Cat and the Fiddle", produced by famed impresario, Jules Daudet. Victor's focus in life changes when he meets Shirley Sheridan, a New Yorker just arrived in Brussels, she who moves into the pensione next to his own. He falls in love at first sight with her. She is also a composer - of the type of music more often heard in Tin Pan Alley - and is hoping to study with Professor Bertier. But it is Victor who helps her with her music. She also catches the attention of Daudet, who publishes her music although he is more interested in her as a woman. Regardless, she becomes rich and famous, and is required to move to Paris. In the short term, Victor, who moves to Paris with her, is more than willing to forgo his own musical aspirations to help her. But Victor is forced to choose between ... Written by
The musical play opened in New York City, New York, USA, on 15 October 1931 and closed on 24 September 1932, after 395 performances. All songs in the musical were performed to some degree in the movie. See more »
Every morning you and I will ride Teresa through the park. The sun will shine, the birds will sing, the flowers will bloom...
And I'll yell for the police!
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In the years before she teamed up with Nelson Eddy and became the object of later camp mockery, Jeannette MacDonald starred in several bright, sophisticated musical comedies directed by Ernst Lubitsch, and in one of the greatest of all musical films, Rouben Mammoulian's Love Me Tonight. MacDonald had many talents, and they were all on display in these movies. She could sing wonderfully, act, do comedy, and be quite sexy.
Unfortunately, while The Cat and the Fiddle belongs to this pre-Eddy period, it does not measure up to the other films. It has all the saccharine sentimentality--the corn--of old fashioned operetta without any of the high spirits and with little of the sophisticated humor. In addition, Ramon Novarro is no Maurice Chevalier. He is earnest but dull and too effeminate to be believable as the object of MacDonald's romantic interest. The best one can say is that he can sing reasonably well.
Besides the pleasure of hearing MacDonald sing and do her best to inject some life and naughtiness into the story, there is one other high point: Charles Butterworth in his role as Charles, the goofy hanger-on with the absurd non-sequiturs. He was a delightful character actor of the time.
There is one particularly good Jerome Kern song: The Night Was Made for Love. Also worth seeing is Vivienne Segal in one of her rare movie appearances. One of her greatest Broadway roles was in Pal Joey.
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