6.4/10
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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

On TV

Airs Wed. Jun. 29, 5:30 PM on TCM

Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Felix Bressart ...
Max
Edward Ashley ...
Lynne Carver ...
Dolly
Diana Lewis ...
Jane
Curt Bois ...
Ernst
Fay Holden ...
Mrs. Millick
Sig Ruman ...
Herr Schlick (as Sig Rumann)
Janet Beecher ...
Charles Judels ...
Herr Wyler
Veda Ann Borg ...
Manon
Herman Bing ...
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:

Technicolor's Greatest Spectacle! 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:

Amarga dulzura  »

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

Noël Coward's wistful reflection in song, "If Love Were All," sung by Jeanette MacDonald, was deleted from the movie. In the 1933 British-made film production, Anna Neagle had sung the classic ballad. 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

Remake of Bitter Sweet (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Dear Little Cafe
(1929) (uncredited)
Words and Music by Noël Coward with additional lyrics by Gus Kahn
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy
Reprised by Jeanette MacDonald
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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