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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
Jeanette is captivating, but the plot is a yawner...
If it wasn't for "Donkey Serenade", this would have been a total loss as a piece of gaudy MGM entertainment for the masses in the 1930s. JEANETTE MacDONALD gives her all as a sexy spy who tries getting potentially harmful information from French officers, but it's all pretty preposterous and finally much too long for sustained interest.
The only sequence that comes off as completely charming is the "Donkey Serenade" episode with ALLAN JONES singing his heart out as he rides a dusty trail following her carriage. Jones is a fine match for MacDonald but probably left MGM when he realized it was Nelson Eddy's territory.
The score is kind of lackluster, the sets are opulent in typical MGM grand style manner, but the plot is never lively enough to keep one's attention riveted on the plodding story of spies and counter-spies in ye olde Spain. Everyone tries hard, but it just seems to stall somewhere near the middle and never recovers.
Trivia: Did Jeanette MacDonald ever show her real hair in a costume film? She must wear at least 25 wigs and hairdos in this film alone, changing her far from simple hairstyles from scene to scene more often than Lana Turner ever changed her costumes in glamorous roles. There must have been a special Jeanette wig department at Metro just for the occasion.
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