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Melody for Two (1937)

Approved | | Romance, Musical | 1 May 1937 (USA)
Mel Lynch and his aide 'Remorse' Rumson are wheeler dealer managers for big band leader Tod Weaver. They finally get him into the big time but then must deal with competing singers Gale Starr and Lorna Wray.

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Writers:

(story "Special Arrangements"), | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Tod Weaver
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Gale Starr
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Camille Casey
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'Remorse' Rumson
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Mel Lynch
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Lorna Wray (as Winifred Shaw)
Charley Foy ...
'Scoop' Trotter (as Charles Foy)
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Bill Hallam
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Walter Wilson (as Gordon Elliott)
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Exodus Johnson (as Eddie Anderson)
Eddie Kane ...
Alex Montrose
Gordon Hart ...
Mr. Woodruff
Harry Hayden ...
Mr. Armstrong
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Storyline

A professional triangle with some personal twists thrown in is presented. Bandleader Tod Weaver has a successful New York career with Gale Starr, his girl, his lead female vocalist - Tod being the lead male vocalist - performing urbane classy melodically driven songs, expertly arranged by Mel Lynch, in upscale uptown clubs. Tod and Mel have a falling out, partly because of Mel's interest in Gale professionally and personally, with neither backing down from their principled positions of Tod not wanting anything to do with Mel ever again, and Mel wanting to ruin Tod. Gale somewhat sides with Mel if only for the survival of her own career, which leads to Gale taking over Tod's band at their latest gig at the Sky Terrace, and Tod being blacklisted by uptown clubs and the bandleaders' association. But with Tod goes his faithful manager Remorse Rumson and publicist Scoop Trotter, whose professional lives are also at stake. The three have different perspectives of how to get Tod on his feet ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Romance | Musical

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

1 May 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

King of Swing  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut (at age 12) of Donald O'Connor. Along with his brothers Billy O'Connor and Jack O'Connor, Donald did a specialty routine. Billy died a year or two later after contracting scarlet fever. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sunburst (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

A Flat in Manhattan
Music by M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by Jack Scholl
Performed by Patricia Ellis
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User Reviews

 
a short excuse for lots of music
12 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

James Melton and Patricia Ellis star in "Melody for Two," a second feature from 1937. Running about an hour, it's packed with music, notably the song "September in the Rain," which had its debut in this film.

Melton plays bandleader Tod Weaver whose band has an exciting new contract with a large nightclub. Right before the band opens, Weaver has a fight with songwriter Bill Hallam and fires him. The songwriter leaves, taking his music with him. This leaves the band with nothing.

The band's singer, Camille Casey (Ellis) convinces Hallam to let the band use his music for a fee but under another name. Hallam goes along, and the band is a big hit. Hallam, however, tells a gossip columnist what he did and, as far as Weaver is concerned, makes him look foolish. In another fit of temper, Weaver quits the orchestra and is blackballed from future employment. Camille becomes the band leader.

Feeling sorry for Tod, Camille haggles with the NBA (National Broadcasting Association) and gets a contract for Tod with a small club. Tod's manager decides they need a gimmick, so they hire blond women for the band. They're not a success until a janitor (Eddie "Rochester" Anderson) tells them they're old-fashioned and need some heat -- in the form of swing music.

Melton has a kind of scrappy delivery and though pleasant looking, wasn't a leading man of the Nelson Eddy variety. He had, however, a beautiful Irish tenor that can be heard in the title song, "September in the Rain," and "Macushula," while Ellis sings "An Excuse for Dancing" and "A Flat in Manhattan." Melton became an opera star shortly after this film and worked at the Metropolitan Opera. Despite the lyric timbre of his voice, he did Pinkerton in "Madame Butterfly," and several other heavy-ish roles, though his major role for the Met was one very suited to him, Tamino in "The Magic Flute." In those days, it seems like lyric voices took on meatier roles. He was a perfect Mozart tenor, though I'm unclear what else he did besides Tamino.

Not really recommended, but Melton made other films, and if you get a chance to hear him, do so.


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