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
A penniless composer in Brussels named Victor Florescu (Ramon Novarro) meets American singer Shirley Sheridan (Jeanette MacDonald). He is immediately (and understandably) attracted to her. She hates him but then they start collaborating and fall in love. She becomes successful and he doesn't. Will this tear them apart?
The story is obvious from the beginning but who cares? This was MacDonald's first movie for MGM and they pulled out all the stops for her. The movie is beautifully done with lavish sets and costumes and a beautiful score. MacDonald and Novarro have no sexual charisma between them (a kiss at the end looks horrible) but they both can sing and play off each other nicely.
MacDonald is very good at acting and singing. She's beautiful and what a voice! Novarro sometimes overacts (especially at the beginning) and he doesn't look too good (he was sadly suffering from alcoholism at the time and it shows) but he still has that boyish charm and smile and he can sing very well. And there's an interesting closing sequence in VERY bright two-color Technicolor (love Novarro's green suit!).
It's well-done with beautiful sets, acting, stars and songs. This really should be better known. Also one of Novarro's best final roles before homophobia ruined his career. I give it an 8.
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