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Laura Hope Crews
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Theater manager James Guthrie's career depends on famed soprano Elsa Terry singing in his Buenos Aires opera house, however, Elsa breaks the contract in favor of a more lucrative deal in Paris. Desperate, James begins showering her with flowers and candy in an attempt to woo her to the Argentinian opera house. When Elsa overhears James confess to his friend Pancho that he'd be willing to resort to kidnapping to get Elsa to Argentina, she mistakenly believes his motives to be solely romantic. Written by
By the time Grace Moore got around to doing I'll Take Romance for Columbia Pictures the mid thirties vogue for opera stars on the screen was fading. This was her last film under contract to Columbia and hereafter except for the French film Louise, Grace Moore concentrated on the grand opera, the concert stage, radio and commercial recordings. Until Mario Lanza came along, Grace Moore was the most popular selling classical artist on record.
Maybe had the film been done by someone like Jean Arthur who was an expert in screwball comedy with Moore dubbing her voice, I'll Take Romance might have come out better. When she's not singing, Grace just can't get into the screwball spirit.
It's certainly a screwball plot she has to deal with. Of course Grace is an opera singer who on a diva's whim decides she just doesn't feel like going to Buenos Aires to fulfill an engagement. Instead she wants to go to Paris.
Melvyn Douglas supplies his well worn charm as he saunters through the role of the guy who has to get her to Argentina by hook or crook. Accent is definitely on the latter as he resorts to kidnapping her. But if you follow the screwball comedies of the Thirties I think you know where this one is going.
As second leads and sidekicks to the leads, Margaret Hamilton and Stu Erwin are an interesting team. I can't recall any other film where Margaret was actually being romanced a bit herself even if it was by Stu Erwin.
Besides the usual opera arias for Grace, she also got in the title song one of the staples of her concert repertoire. If this film is remembered at all today it's because of the Ben Oakland-Oscar Hammerstein II song, I'll Take Romance. To both see and hear Grace Moore perform the song makes the film worth seeing.
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