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The Firefly (1937)

Passed  |   |  History, Musical, Romance  |  5 November 1937 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 257 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

Nina Maria Azara is the beautiful and alluring singing spy for Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. Her mission is to seduce French Officers, in order for them to reveal Napolean's intentions ... See full summary »

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(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Don Diego
Warren William ...
Major de Rouchemont
...
Innkeeper
...
Marquis de Melito (as Douglas Dumbrille)
...
Leonard Penn ...
Etienne
Tom Rutherford ...
King Ferdinard (as Tom Rutherfurd)
Belle Mitchell ...
Lola
George Zucco ...
Secret Service Chief
Corbet Morris ...
Duval (as Corbett Morris)
Matthew Boulton ...
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Storyline

Nina Maria Azara is the beautiful and alluring singing spy for Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. Her mission is to seduce French Officers, in order for them to reveal Napolean's intentions toward Spain. She is sent to Bayonne, France to gather military secrets. Prior to this, she meets, Don Diego while performing at a club. Unknown to her, Don Diego is actually Captain Andre, who is sent to Spain to spy on her. While in France, Nina discovers Diego's true identity, only after she has fallen in love with him. Nina Maria outwits her potential captors and returns to Spain, and goes into hiding. Napoleon's troops invade Spain, resulting in Nina's capture. In a strange twist of fate, Nina and Captain Andre are reunited, but, the 2 nations are now at war... Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jeanette MacDonald Is The Luminous Singing Spy! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 November 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tarantella  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original release prints featured color tinting of sequences in Sepia-Blue, Sepia-Orange, or Sepia-Blue-Pink. See more »

Goofs

In one scene, women dance to a piece by Russian composer Korsakov. He was born in 1844, decades after Napoleon's era. See more »

Quotes

Don Diego: You have one bad habit.
Nina Maria Azara: Oh, yes? What?
Don Diego: You're always saying good-bye.
Nina Maria Azara: Very well then, I won't say good-bye. I'll just go!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M-G-M Jubilee Overture (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

THE DONKEY SERENADE
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart
Lyrics by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Allan Jones
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A pair of winning songbirds
17 March 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I am told that the original plot of The Firefly has seen on Broadway back in 1912 had absolutely nothing to do with the Peninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. Hard to believe because the plot here seems so right.

The core of the plot is duty to one's country. Though Allan Jones and Jeanette MacDonald are on opposite sides and love each other, at some point each betrays the other at some point in the movie to gain a tactical advantage for France or Spain.

The Rudolf Friml-Otto Harbach-Oscar Hammerstein II, is mostly retained for the movie. One new song, based on a Friml instrumental composition called Chanson, is given a lyric by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest and arranged by MGM's house composer Herbert Stothart. Their combined efforts yielded The Donkey Serenade and provided Allan Jones a signature song for the rest of his career.

Jeanette was taking a rest from her usual singing partner, Nelson Eddy, and her teaming with Jones was felicitous. They are a pair of winning songbirds. Maybe had Jones stayed with MGM, he and MacDonald might have made some more films together. Maybe he might have played some of the parts that Nelson Eddy did opposite her. But he probably was right in thinking he'd always be number 2 at MGM, so he moved to Universal.

Beautiful singing and a decent plot in this one. Go see it.


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