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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>
Just how "gay" are we supposed to see Vienna as being???
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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