Champagne Waltz is one of five movies produced by Paramount in the 1930s featuring Gladys Swarthout, a very popular Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano. The studio was attempting to build on ...
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Champagne Waltz is one of five movies produced by Paramount in the 1930s featuring Gladys Swarthout, a very popular Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano. The studio was attempting to build on the popularity of Grace Moore, another opera singer, who had also expanded her talents into movies.
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
The review by F.Gwynplaine MacIntyre, not his real name and he wasn't from North Wales but his life story would make one intriguing movie, brings to mind what one of the great film historians, Don Miller, had to say about the background of "Champagne Waltz", in the January 22, 1982 edition of "Captain George's Penny Dreadful." a weekly review published in Toronto. To quote: "Champage Waltz" began as a collaboration between playwright H. S. Kraft, then in Hollywood, and Billy Wilder, a recent émigré from Europe. Lester Cowan bought the original story and thereupon sold it to Paramount, and since Cowan still owed Wilder a piece of change from the transaction persuaded Paramount to hire Wilder as a scriptwriter in lieu of payment, to which Wilder agreed. The property was developed by Wilder; the screenplay was eventually turned in by Don Hartman and Frank Butler, with Kraft and Wilder retaining screen credit for the original. What is important is that it was Wilder's initial Paramount writer's credit, and contained what is apparently the nucleus of a familiar Wilder screen character---the wiseacre, semi-heel with redeeming qualities, played by Fred MacMurray six years prior to "Double Indemnity." Here, he's Buzzy Bellew, a band leader. The comparison with MacMurray's Walter Neff, and the later J. J. Sheldrake of "The Apartment"; the Charles Tatum of Kirk Douglas in "Ace in the Hole"' the Joe Gillis of William Holden in "Sunset Boulevard" and other Wilderian dark-shaded "heores" is apt. Otherwise, the plot's about the difference between a Strauss waltz conductor and a brash Americam jazz-man, with of course the two orchestras melding together for a happy conclusion. Subsequent German and Austrian musicals found this twist appealing, although Wilder never got credit. It would turn up in one form or another in films of Willy Forst and others."
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