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Bitter Sweet (1940)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Musical, Romance  |  8 November 1940 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 326 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 5 critic

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), (screen play)
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Title: Bitter Sweet (1940)

Bitter Sweet (1940) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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MGM sound engineer Douglas Shearer takes us for a behind the scenes look at how the sound portion of a talking picture is created. Uses Bitter Sweet (1940) (a Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Shearer
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ian Hunter ...
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:

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:

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

Noel 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

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

Soundtracks

Tokay
(1929) (uncredited)
Written by Noel Coward
Sung by Nelson Eddy and the patrons at the cafe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Just how "gay" are we supposed to see Vienna as being???
18 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've seen the Noel Coward operetta on which this movie is - loosely - based, and I didn't much care for that either. MacDonald/Eddy movies worked when the music was good and well staged, but that isn't the case here. The one big number, "I'll see you again," is over within the first five minutes. From there on, it's just forgettable imitation Viennese operetta music ("Tokay," "Ziguener," etc.).

Normally, this is one of their movies that I take a pass on.

But when I watched it today, I couldn't help notice how heavily it stresses that England is sexually and emotionally very repressive. The romantic couple flees to Vienna, which is described over and over as "gay." When they arrive, they are met by several of the male lead's male friends, who are very effusive in expressing their delight at seeing him.

Which set me to wondering: was someone - Coward, the screenwriter - trying to set this up as an allegory of gay Coward's own feelings of sexual repression in England? The male lead, very much unlike in most movie operettas of the time, gets killed in the end, and by a military bully, just the sort who would pick on a gay man. (Though the male lead in this movie is certainly not presented as gay.)

Just a thought.


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