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Hitting a New High (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 24 December 1937 (USA)
Lili Pons and Jack Oakie star as a nightclub singer with aspires to be an opera diva and the met star whom she chases all the way to a safari in Africa to make her dreams come true in this wacky musical comedy.



(story), (story) | 2 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Suzette, aka Oogahunga, the Bird-Girl
Corny Davis
Jimmy James
Cedric Cosmo, aka Captain Braceridge Hemingway
Lucius B. Blynn
Andreas Mazzini
Luis Marlo
Vinton Hayworth ...
Carter Haig (as Jack Arnold)
Jervons, Blynn's Butler


Lili Pons and Jack Oakie star as a nightclub singer with aspires to be an opera diva and the met star whom she chases all the way to a safari in Africa to make her dreams come true in this wacky musical comedy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

24 December 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De zangvogel van Broadway en Parijs  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Contemporary production charts and news items list Lucille Ball, Billy Gilbert and Marek Windheim as cast members, but they were not seen in the movie. See more »


A Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo is seen in the African jungle when Oogahunga is found. Later on, Mazzini refers to Oogahunga as an "Egyptian Cockatoo". Cockatoos are native to Australia and some islands to its north, and are not found in Africa. A cockatoo is also seen later in Blynn's house as a pet, but this is not unusual, as cockatoos have been imported to the USA and kept as pets for many years. See more »


Let's Give Love Another Chance
Music by Jimmy McHugh (as James McHugh)
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Played and sung by the band at the Café Elysée
Played on piano and sung by Lily Pons
Played at the Chez Suzette and sung by Lily Pons, Jack Oakie and Edward Everett Horton
See more »

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User Reviews

An often very funny movie
8 October 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is an often very funny movie, with something of a hole in the middle of it.

Lily Pons, though a fine singer and an attractive woman - who didn't photograph well, at least in this picture - did not have the charisma to carry off a movie. If you compare her to Jeannette MacDonald or Grace Moore, her equivalents at MGM and Columbia, you will see what I mean. She isn't helped by the fact that she is given an unsympathetic role. Rather than another replay of the singer who dreams of singing opera and disdains popular music, this movie would have been much better if she had been presented as a singer who wanted to do both, and fight against the prejudice that held that opera singers shouldn't do popular music. The best numbers in this movie are when she does pop music - especially "Hitting a new high" - so her disdain for them doesn't make her attractive to the audience. The staging of the Mad Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor is downright bad, and would have confirmed opera-haters' views of why opera wasn't interesting. She just walks around with her arms extended gazing up at the sky. You would have NO idea what the number, a very dramatic one, is actually about from watching her performance of it in this movie.

What makes this a fun movie is the character parts - Jack Oakie, Edward Everett Horton, and Eric Blore - who are given really first-class material and a LOT of screen time, with which they do a really first-class job. Oakie and Horton come off as a quirky couple, with Horton as the straight man and Oakie as the guy with all the jokes. With many 1930s musicals you want to delete the dialogue scenes and just focus on the musical numbers. Here, frankly, it would be tempting to eliminate most of the musical numbers and the romantic scenes (which are few) and focus on the scenes with Oakie, Horton, and Blore.

Though I would save the scene in "Africa" where Pons appears in a lagoon singing to exotic birds. It's the most charming number in the movie, and nicely done.

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