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 »
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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