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Sweet Surrender (1935)

Approved  |   |  Musical, Romance  |  1 December 1935 (USA)
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Arrested when he gets into a fracas, while escorting the girl he has hitherto loved only from afar, noted ballet dancer Delphine, to her car, Danny O'Day, famous radio tenor, is late for ... See full summary »

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(adaptation), (story), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Parker ...
Tamara ...
Delphine Marshall / Maizie Marshall
Helen Lynd ...
Dot Frost
Russ Brown ...
Jerry Burke
Arthur Pierson ...
Nick Harrington
Otis Sheridan ...
James P. Hargrave
Jules Epailly ...
Rozan
William Adams ...
Edgar F. Evans
Alois Havrilla ...
Alois Havrilla, Radio Announcer
Abe Lyman ...
Abe Lyman, Band Leader
...
Frank S. Moreno ...
Antonio Grezato
James Spottswood ...
Horace Allen
Leona Powers ...
Mrs. Horace Allen
Lee Timmons ...
Larry Forbes
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Storyline

Arrested when he gets into a fracas, while escorting the girl he has hitherto loved only from afar, noted ballet dancer Delphine, to her car, Danny O'Day, famous radio tenor, is late for his broadcast and ruled off the air. He meets his friend Jerry Burke at the restaurant of Jack Dempsey where the Manassa Mauler consoles him. Delphine breaks her contract and aided by her friend Dot Frost escapes her manager, Antonio Grezato and sails for Europe on the "Normandie," disguised as a school teacher. Danny and Jerry are also on the boat. Delphine is impersonated by Maizie Marshall who closely resembles her. Maizie does this at the instigation of Nick Harrington, a suave crook who has recognized Delphine and sees a chance for some dishonest doings. Delphine cannot object because Harrington threatens to unmask her if she does. Nick and Maizie steal Delphine's passport and letter-of-credit during a fancy dress ball. When the ship lands at Harve, France, James P. Hargrave, international peace ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jack Dempsey and his sporting-world pals! Alois Havrilla, radio's silver-tongued announcer! And dozens of others! And hundreds of beautiful, cutiful girls! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

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Release Date:

1 December 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Delírio Musical  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Soundtracks

Twenty-Four Hours a Day
Lyrics by Arthur Swanstrom
Music by James F. Hanley
Performed by Frank Parker
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User Reviews

Worth seeing as a 1930s musical oddity.
17 November 2000 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

'Sweet Surrender' is a true oddity. One of the few Universal musicals made in Astoria, Long Island, it utilizes the talents of actors and actresses largely unknown to motion picture audiences. Tamara's leading man, Frank Parker was a highly successful and wealthy radio star who bred horses for a hobby. Parker's personality rarely becomes warm enough to be a romantic lead. He also played a similar role (crossing the Atlantic) in the 1934 film Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round (1934). Most reviews pointed out that although he was certainly a revered singer, and was voted "Radio's Best Dressed Man," Frank Parker did not have any Thespian blood. Tamara, the Broadway favorite, was making her feature film début. (Her only other film was the 1940 No, No Nanette.) Tamara died in a tragic plane crash, the same crash that crippled Jane Froman. She received encouraging notices for her rôle, which involved playing three characters. Up to this time, Tamara was best known as the girl who introduced "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" in the 1933 Broadway hit "Roberta." The New York American said: "Tamara's field day is not rose-strewn but she manages her triple characterization with surprising capability, and with more experience will fit nicely into the picture pattern." (December 14, 1935) The film also mirrored real-life confused identity between Tamara the Broadway singer, who played a ballerina in the film, and Tamara Geva, the famous ballerina. Jack Dempsey, the former champion boxer-turned nightclub owner appeared in the film for about one minute. Bandleader Abe Lyman had a little more time on camera. Also featured were comedienne Helen Lynd, actor Russ Brown and The Sara Mildred Strauss Dancers. In 1933 William Rowland and Monte Brice had made another low-budget musical at Astoria, Moonlight And Pretzels (1933), a sort of poor man's 42nd St. (1933), but at least Pretzels had Leo Carillo and Roger Pryor, two actors that had been associated for a few years with the film business. A few of the actors in Sweet Surrender (1935) had played bit parts in early Hollywood sound films, but generally were found playing secondary rôles in East Coast stage shows. Larry Ceballos' staging of the big production number, "Appasionata" is reminiscent of his work in the early musicals of Hollywood, i.e. Show of Shows (1929). Some of the tunes are memorable, and one of them "Twenty-Four Hours a Day" (Arthur Swanstrom- James Hanley) was on "Your Hit Parade" before the film opened. Most of the songs are by Dana Suesse' and Edward Heyman, who had several big hits in the early 1930s, including "My Silent Love" and "Ho Hum." Although the comedy is sometimes tedious, the film allows the viewer to see some of Broadway's veteran players who made very few or no other films. One of the biggest stars of Sweet Surrender (1935) is the luxury liner, the Normandie. The extraordinary French ship began her maiden voyage from Le Havre to New York on May 29, 1935. Acknowledged as the center of High Society on the North Atlantic, the Normandie was the grandest, most luxurious and artistic ocean liner ever built. Until 1940 it was the largest ship in the world. Her interiors were like a living museum to l'art moderne. Co-producer William Rowland arranged to film Sweet Surrender scenes on board the Normandie while she was in New York Harbor for the first time. Only a few areas of the ship were used for filming: the gangplank area, the railings, the decks, and most notably the entire length of Le Grand Salon featuring a costume ball. The last reel boasted a haunting song and modern ballet entitled The Appassionata. A close-up of the ballet theatre program read: "A modern interpretation of the music of human passion in which Man is love torn between Savage Rhythm and Spiritual Melody." Veteran Larry Ceballos, who had done many of Hollywood's first musical films, choreographed the sexy ballet. In the finale, an accomplished ballerina "doubles" the intricate steps for Tamara. Parts of the ballet were cleverly shot with mirrors, reflecting the dancers into infinity. Considering how much publicity was devoted to this number, there is not any dancing of significance, but plenty of walking and posing. An unbilled bonus for the cinema audience was the voice of the teenage Virginia Verrill singing the haunting "Appassionata." Verrill had just moved to New York in mid 1935 and landed a contract with Johnny Green's radio show. Helen Lynd got several raves reviews for her rôle as Tamara's slaphappy sidekick. One reviewer compared her to comediennes Una Merkel and ZaSu Pitts. Composer Dana Suesse was happy to find that the musical director of the film was Rosario Bourdon, a highly respected radio and recording conductor. Most reviews agreed that the score was agreeable, especially the ballet performed by the Sara Mildred Strauss Dancers. Irene Thirer of the New York Evening Post said "Musically, the production is far above average" (December 14, 1935). Daily Film Renter stated, "Another highlight is an elaborately staged ballet sequence at the finale, where diaphanous clad damsels cavort expertly to the rhythm - an episode that possesses definite artistic merit...It is, however, the novelty of the setting, and the ballet climax that provide the entertainment" (December 7, 1935). Ironically, the critics didn't seem to notice that the film's female lead, Tamara, who had risen to fame as a singer, does not warble a note. (This might be attributed to the two songs "cut" from the final print, or just egregiously bad casting.) Apparently Tamara felt the film was insignificant enough to avoid mentioning in the future. The film is generally considered obscure, forgettable and is seldom acknowledged in film books.


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