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, ...
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A musical comedy duo in their 6th year on Broadway receive an offer to perform in Hollywood making films. The change of lifestyle is inviting to the Sweethearts as the move will take them ... See full summary »
W.S. Van Dyke,
Robert Z. Leonard
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Robert Z. Leonard,
W.S. Van Dyke
The Winfield family moves into a new house in a small town in Indiana. Tomboy Marjorie Winfield begins a romance with William Sherman who lives across the street. Marjorie has to learn how ... See full summary »
Opera singer (Marie de Flor) seeks out fugitive brother in the Canadian wilderness. During her trek, she meets a Canadian mountie (Sgt. Bruce) who is also searching for her brother. Romance... See full summary »
W.S. Van Dyke
At fictitious Tait University in the Roaring 20's, co-ed and school librarian Connie Lane falls for football hero Tommy Marlowe. Unfortunately, he has his eye on gold-digging vamp Pat ... See full summary »
Acrobat Eddie Marsh is in the army now. His first act is to become friendly with Kathryn Jones, the colonel's pretty daughter. Their romance hits a few snags, including disapproval from her... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
A previous reviewer reported the well known story about how upset Noel Coward was at this version of his work that he refused to allow Hollywood to do another adaptation of any of his works. Hollywood in fact never did.
Of course you'd have to have something to compare it to and I hope that TCM manages to find the 1933 version that Anna Neagle and Fernand Gravey did for the British cinema.
On its own Bitter Sweet is a mixture of the previous MacDonald/Eddy triumph Maytime with a good hunk of Anna Karenina thrown into the mix. Jeanette MacDonald on an impulse runs off with her music teacher Nelson Eddy to gay old Vienna where they live on love and starve a good deal of the time. In doing the elopement she jilts her fiancé, proper and stuffy Edward Ashley who's an up and coming man in their Foreign Office.
I'm sure Noel Coward didn't complain about what Jeanette and Nelson did vocally with his songs because they're sung beautifully. Jeanette is barely passable for British and Nelson is about as Viennese as John Wayne. MGM knew that and surrounded them with the German colony of Hollywood, Sig Rumann, Curt Bois, Felix Bressart, and Herman Bing. And George Sanders is his usual caddish self as the Baron Von Trannisch who's got a lustful eye for Jeanette.
Noel Coward's plays are comedies of manners with some satirical jibes at British society. His music is universal, but his wit is for the British Isles. I doubt he could have written a western. My guess is that that was what Coward objected to in this film.
Still Jeanette and Nelson fans will like it and until someone at TCM finds the Anna Neagle version that's all we're likely to see.
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