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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
Jeannette MacDonald and Allan Jones star with Warren William in "The Firefly," a 1937 MGM film.
MacDonald plays Nina Maria Azara, a singer, who is also a spy for Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. She is to seduce French officers and find out Napoleon's plans for Spain.
She meets Don Diego, who pursues her while she is working as a singer. She has to stave him off in order to meet with those who can give her information, among them Major de Rouchemont (William).
Don Diego keeps showing up, including on her trip to Bayonne. There, the famous Donkey Serenade is introduced. Unknown to her, Don Diego is actually Captain Andre, who is sent to Spain to spy on her.
The story is a backdrop for all of the music, and there is a ton of it. MacDonald's voice was highly touted; with today's ears, it was a lovely voice, particularly in the middle, but I was never crazy about her top notes. I think it was just the way women were trained by then. She was a beautiful woman and a fine, fiery actress, and her popularity was well deserved. She does a good job here.
Allan Jones was not the most sparkling presence -- he certainly was no match for MacDonald in that department -- but he truly had a beautiful voice. Warren William was very good in a villainous role.
Most of the music was written by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart, so you need to like operetta in order to like this film, and also classical voices.
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