6.4/10
348
11 user 5 critic

Bitter Sweet (1940)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 8 November 1940 (USA)
In order to avoid an arranged marriage with a man she doesn't love, Sarah Millick runs off to Vienna with her music teacher, Carl Linden, whom she does love. They are married. In Vienna, ... See full summary »

Director:

(as W.S. Van Dyke II)

Writers:

(original play) (as Noel Coward), (screen play)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Max
Edward Ashley ...
...
Dolly
Diana Lewis ...
Jane
...
Ernst
...
Mrs. Millick
...
Herr Schlick (as Sig Rumann)
...
...
Herr Wyler
...
Manon
...
Market Keeper
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Storyline

In order to avoid an arranged marriage with a man she doesn't love, Sarah Millick runs off to Vienna with her music teacher, Carl Linden, whom she does love. They are married. In Vienna, they struggle to make a living by making music. Carl writes an operetta and tries to get it produced. They are helped along by Viennese Baron, but his intentions are not honorable. He kills Carl in a sword fight. A big producer does put on the operetta, with Sari in the lead -- but without her husband, it is a bittersweet victory. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Filled with Noel Coward's songs and harmonies of "America's Sweethearts." See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bittersweet  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Except for a few shots where she was doubled by Audrey Scott, Jeanette MacDonald did most of her own horseback riding. See more »

Quotes

Sarah Millick, later Sari Linden: [over a very sparse dinner] Oh well, maybe it's all for the best. I hear more people die from overeating than from any other cause.
Carl Linden: I bet we'll be immortal, then. I hate Herr Weiller.
Sarah Millick, later Sari Linden: I hate the market keeper.
Carl Linden: I hate the landlord.
Sarah Millick, later Sari Linden: That's not fair, *I* was going to hate the landlord. *You* hate Herr Weiller again.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Miracle of Sound (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Una voce poco fa
(1) (1816) (uncredited)
From Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville"
Danced by a dancing ensemble
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hollywood rapes the classics again
30 October 2004 | by (Chatham, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Noel Coward, who wrote both the words and the music of the original 1929 operetta, called this movie "a nauseating hotchpotch of vulgarity, false values, seedy dialogue, stale sentiment, vile performances, and abominable direction." He found it so offensive that he never again allowed Hollywood to have anything to do with his musicals, and put a clause in his will to that effect.

I entirely agree with his evaluation. No one who has had the chance to see the brilliant and heartbreaking original play can look on this bastard tinsel and frou-frou offspring without feeling first incredulity, then disgust, and finally a deep personal hatred for everyone involved in the nasty thing.

By the way, the connection between this movie and "Maytime" is complicated. You see, some Hollywood suit didn't like the original show, "Maytime", but wanted to use the title, and so they ripped off the plot of "Bitter Sweet" and combined it with lots of songs that aren't from either "Maytime" or "Bitter Sweet", apart from just one actual "Maytime" song, and called the result "Maytime". (Eddy and MacDonald's movie called "The Chocolate Soldier", similarly, is the plot of the play, "The Guardsman", mixed with some of the songs from "The Chocolate Soldier", but none of the plot.) So when they decided to make "Bitter Sweet", they kept the same basic plot, but dumbed it down, creating this abortion.


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