IMDb > The Firefly (1937)
The Firefly
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The Firefly (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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The Firefly -- Jeanette MacDonald portrays Nina Maria, who sings, dances and spies for Spain during the Napoleonic Wars.


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Down 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frances Goodrich (screen play) and
Albert Hackett (screen play) ...
View company contact information for The Firefly on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 November 1937 (USA) See more »
Jeanette MacDonald In Her Successor To "Maytime" See more »
Nina Maria Azara is the beautiful and alluring singing spy for Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. Her mission is to seduce French Officers... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Jeanette is captivating, but the plot is a yawner... See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jeanette MacDonald ... Nina Maria

Allan Jones ... Don Diego

Warren William ... Major de Rouchemont

Billy Gilbert ... Innkeeper

Douglass Dumbrille ... Marquis de Melito (as Douglas Dumbrille)

Henry Daniell ... General Savary
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 ... Wellington
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Victor Adams ... Jail Guard (uncredited)
Monya Andre ... Civilian Wife (uncredited)
Sam Appel ... Fruit Vendor (uncredited)
Hooper Atchley ... French Soldier Requesting Flowers (uncredited)
Zita Baca ... (uncredited)
Ray Bennett ... Soldier in Café (uncredited)
Maurice Black ... Pigeon Vendor (uncredited)
Eugene Borden ... Captain (uncredited)
Agostino Borgato ... Peasant (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Secretary (uncredited)

Ralph Byrd ... French Lieutenant (uncredited)
Frank Campeau ... Beggar (uncredited)
James B. Carson ... Smiling Waiter (uncredited)
Maurice Cass ... Strawberry Vendor (uncredited)

Lane Chandler ... Captain of Guards (uncredited)
Mabel Colcord ... Vendor (uncredited)
Pedro de Cordoba ... Spanish General (uncredited)
William Crowell ... French Officer (uncredited)

Alan Curtis ... French Soldier (uncredited)
Guy D'Ennery ... Spanish General (uncredited)
Drew Demorest ... French Officer (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... French Officer (uncredited)
Roger Drake ... French Soldier (uncredited)
Peter Du Rey ... Officer (uncredited)
Fernando García ... Napoleonic Officer (uncredited)
Boyd Gilbert ... Aide (uncredited)
Soledad Gonzales ... (uncredited)
Karl Hackett ... Spaniard (uncredited)
Lew Harvey ... Officer (uncredited)
Ben Hewlett ... Major (uncredited)
Ramsay Hill ... French Officer (uncredited)
Riley Hill ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
Brandon Hurst ... English General (uncredited)
Edward Keane ... French Chief of Staff (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... English General (uncredited)
Robert Z. Leonard ... Café Patron (uncredited)
Jacques Lory ... French Soldier (uncredited)
Fred MacKaye ... French Soldier (uncredited)
John Merton ... French Officer Announcing Abdication (uncredited)
Joseph North ... English General (uncredited)

Dennis O'Keefe ... French Soldier Admirer (uncredited)
Inez Palange ... Flower Woman (uncredited)
Anthony Pawley ... French Officer (uncredited)
Jean Perry ... French Major (uncredited)
Eddie Phillips ... Captain (uncredited)
John Picorri ... Café Proprietor (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Stablehand (uncredited)
Stanley Price ... Joseph Bonaparte (uncredited)
Frank Puglia ... Pablo (uncredited)
Albertina Rasch ... Café Patron (uncredited)
Donald Reed ... French Officer (uncredited)

Jason Robards Sr. ... Civilian Spanish Patriot (uncredited)
Rolfe Sedan ... Hat Vendor (uncredited)
Harry Semels ... French Soldier (uncredited)
Pat Somerset ... English General (uncredited)
Robert Spindola ... Juan (uncredited)
Paul Sutton ... Spanish Civilian Arousing the People (uncredited)
David Tihmar ... Madrid Café Dancer (uncredited)
Charles Townsend ... French Soldier (uncredited)
Zeni Vatori ... Café Waiter (uncredited)
Theodore von Eltz ... Captain Pierlot (uncredited)
Milton Watson ... French Officer (uncredited)
Robert Wilber ... Dying Soldier (uncredited)

Ian Wolfe ... Izquierdo (uncredited)

Harry Worth ... Secret Service Adjutant (uncredited)
Frank Yaconelli ... French Soldier (uncredited)
Manuel Álvarez Maciste ... Pedro (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Z. Leonard 
Writing credits
Frances Goodrich (screen play) and
Albert Hackett (screen play)

Otto A. Harbach (based upon the play by)

Ogden Nash (adaptation)

Produced by
Hunt Stromberg .... producer
Robert Z. Leonard .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Oliver T. Marsh (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Robert Kern (film editor) (as Robert J. Kern)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joseph M. Newman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Paul Groesse .... associate art director
Edwin B. Willis .... associate art director
Elmer Sheeley .... montage assistant (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Camera and Electrical Department
Clarence Sinclair Bull .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Slavko Vorkapich .... montage effects
Music Department
Chet Forrest .... special lyrics by
Rudolf Friml .... music by
Otto A. Harbach .... based upon the lyrics of
Gus Kahn .... additional lyrics by
Herbert Stothart .... musical director
Bob Wright .... special lyrics by
Wayne Allen .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Charles Maxwell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
M.J. McLaughlin .... music recordist (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... music arranger (uncredited)
Enrico Ricardi .... chorus coach (uncredited)
Edward Ward .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Albertina Rasch .... dances
George Richelavie .... technical advisor
Alice Duer Miller .... treatment (uncredited)
Claudine West .... treatment (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
131 min
Black and White (Sepiatone)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Finland:K-16 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #3506)

Did You Know?

Except for the songs, this movie has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the operetta, "The Firefly".See more »
Anachronisms: In one scene, women dance to a piece by Russian composer Korsakov. He was born in 1844, decades after Napoleon's era.See more »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Hard to Get (1938)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Jeanette is captivating, but the plot is a yawner..., 13 March 2006
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.

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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Would love to see it with its original color tinting jknuttel-2
who was that young boy who played the flute? norberte-1
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