6.4/10
104
4 user 1 critic

Music for Madame (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Musical | 8 October 1937 (USA)
A singer arriving in Hollywood is tricked by jewel thieves to distract a wealthy audience. After running away he'll have to find a way to prove his innocence to both the police and the ... See full summary »

Director:

(as John Blystone)

Writers:

(original story), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Nino Maretti
...
Jean Clemens
...
Leon Rodowsky
...
Krause
...
Detective Flugelman
...
District Attorney Ernest Robinson
Erik Rhodes ...
Spaghetti Nadzio
...
Nora Burns
Frank Conroy ...
Morton Harding
...
Rollins
Romo Vincent ...
Gas Truck Driver
George Shelley ...
Mr. Barret - a Tenor
...
Assistant Director
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Storyline

A singer arriving in Hollywood is tricked by jewel thieves to distract a wealthy audience. After running away he'll have to find a way to prove his innocence to both the police and the young girl composer he's fallen in love with. One of the few films made by operatic tenor Nino Martini. Written by BSK

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Musique pour madame  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank M. Thomas, Lionel Pape and 'Ben Hendricks Jr.' are supposed to be in this film, but are not seen. See more »

Soundtracks

Tännhäuser Overture
(1845) (uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
Played at the Hollywood Bowl
See more »

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User Reviews

 
opera for the masses
9 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Music for Madam" is a light film from RKO starring opera singer Nino Martini and Joan Fontaine. It's fascinating to note that in the 1930s-1950s, opera was used in film plots and opera singers were hired for the movies. Then suddenly, it all stopped, even as musical films continued in popularity for a time after. The last attempt, a disaster, was Pavarotti in "Yes, Giorgio." What happened? Good question. But I'm sure if you took a poll, opera attendance in the U.S. is way down. I would venture to say cultural pastimes can't compete with the likes of the Kardashians, bubblegum music, and Honey Boo-Boo.

Martini plays a naive tenor Nino Maretti who comes to Hollywood to make it in the movies. While he's singing on the bus, some thieves planning to rob valuable pearls at the home of a famous film impresario a la Stokowski (Alan Mowbray) decide he's just the ticket to distract the guests while they do their pilfering.

After telling Nino that they can make him a star with their connections, they throw him in a clown costume and clown makeup and have him sing Vesti la giubba, giving them a chance to steal the pearls. At first, everyone wants to know his identity and several want to sign him to lucrative contracts.

Several minutes later, they think he helped steal the pearls. With no name and no look at his real face, they can't find him. And poor Nino, as a wanted man, can't cash in on his success. Broke and despondent, he is befriended by a lovely young composer (Fontaine) who attended the party to present her music to the maestro. Nino falls for her but can't tell her what happened.

Martini possessed a beautiful lyric tenor voice which he exhibits here, and also shared with audiences from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Though he was a lyric tenor, for some reason in those days lyrics often tended to heavier repertoire, as he did, singing some Verdi and Puccini, though the works of Donizetti and Rossini were really his specialty. Here, we get to hear part of Una furtiva lagrima, which was right up his alley.

It's a nice film, worth it to hear Martini and see a very young and pretty Joan Fontaine.


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