Artist Jimmy Hudson (Cary Grant) is stuck in Mexico unable to pay his hotel bill. Meanwhile, Louise Fuller (Grace Moore) opera singer is stuck in the same town unable to return to the US ... See full summary »
Artist Jimmy Hudson (Cary Grant) is stuck in Mexico unable to pay his hotel bill. Meanwhile, Louise Fuller (Grace Moore) opera singer is stuck in the same town unable to return to the US due to visa problems. The solution, Hudson agrees to marry Fuller, in return for which she pays him $2,000, which allows her to return to New York to resume her opera career. Hudson and Fuller continue to meet and trade barbs, but it clear they are falling for each other. A highlight is when Fuller joins a 5 piece band to sing "Minnie the Moocher", the Cab Calloway signature number. True love appears to be thwarted by Fuller's career obligations and divorce papers are exchanged. But in the end love is triumphant! Written by
Louise Brooks was originally cast as the leading lady. But after several spats with Columbia Pictures chief Harry Cohn, she was abruptly replaced by Grace Moore and the picture was retooled as a musical comedy. Brooks can be glimpsed (uncredited) doing a specialty turn as a ballet dancer in one of the musical numbers. See more »
When You're In Love will forever be known as the film where Grace Moore shed her opera image and did a low down version of Minnie the Moocher. For that and for the fact that she got Cary Grant as a leading man who in the end would way eclipse her in movie star power. Grace was on the decline in Hollywood and Grant was rising fast.
The film was produced, written, and directed by Robert Riskin, his only directorial credit. Riskin is primarily known as the screenwriter collaborator of Frank Capra in some of his most memorable films. He also had been romantically involved earlier in the decade with another soprano star Jeanette MacDonald.
In fact the Minnie the Moocher sequence was inspired I'm sure by Jeanette's turn at jazz in Rose Marie the year before where she sang Some of These Days.
Though it didn't appear so When You're In Love was also a milestone film for Cary Grant even though he was distinctly second billed to Miss Grace Moore. This was his first film after leaving his nurturing studio of Paramount. For the next fifteen year or so, Grant alternated primarily with RKO and Columbia as employers of his free lance services.
The plot borders on the silly. Grace Moore is an Australian opera star who overstayed her work visa in America and was deported to Mexico where she's languishing waiting for an immigration quota number. Her shrewd manager Aline McMahon hits on the idea of marrying an American to get back in the country immediately.
Well if you're going to get married you can't do better than Cary Grant for any purpose. He's a penniless artist and also would like to leave Mexico, but he does have some rather interesting ideas on the relationship himself.
Moore's character is no doubt borrowed from real life Australian opera singer Marjorie Lawrence whose life story would be told in the MGM film Interrupted Melody. Lawrence did marry an American, but not for her immigration status.
The subject matter of the film would be done in a far more serious vein by Paramount in 1941 in Hold Back The Dawn with Charles Boyer and Olivia DeHavilland. Those folks's immigration problems were far more real than what we see here.
Grace Moore has her usual mix of opera and concert material to sing in When You're In Love. In addition Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields also contribute two numbers as well.
But it's Minnie the Moocher, that red hot Hoochy Coocher for which this film will always be known. What must Cab Calloway have thought?
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