6.4/10
344
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
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Max
Edward Ashley ...
...
Dolly
Diana Lewis ...
Jane
...
Ernst
Fay Holden ...
Mrs. Millick
...
Herr Schlick (as Sig Rumann)
...
...
Herr Wyler
...
Manon
...
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:

Bittersweet  »

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

This film was first telecast in Los Angeles on KTTV 19 July 1957, in New York City on WCBS 13 September 1957, and in San Francisco on KGO-TV 12 October 1958. At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so these film showings were all still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later. 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

 
Nelson and Jeannette sing their hearts out
2 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jeannette MacDonald is an English woman who falls in love with her teacher (Nelson Eddy) and runs away with him to Vienna in "Bitter Sweet," a 1940 musical based on a play by Noel Coward.

Sarah (MacDonald) gets away from her family and a man she doesn't love to be with Carl (Eddy) who sings and composes. They have a hard time making ends meet but eventually start making money performing in a club. When a top producer is brought to the club to hear Carl's music, the future looks rosy. It's just an illusion.

The film was given a top-notch production in color, and Jeannette not only looks lovely but wears the most glorious gowns! I have always preferred Jeanette's acting to Nelson's and Nelson's singing to Jeanette's. Both of them sound wonderful singing Noel Coward's music, including the beautiful "I'll See You Again." For some reason, both MacDonald and Eddy had uncredited "vocal stand-ins" - I would assume these people did not sing for them but perhaps rehearsed with the musicians, because Nelson and Jeanette sounded like themselves. MacDonald's voice had a fluttery quality and her tone tended to straighten at the top, but the middle voice and lower tones sounded beautiful. And you can't beat her presence. Eddy, of course, was a magnificent singer, totally suited to the operatic stage. He just never seemed that comfortable in front of the camera.

Reminiscent of "Maytime," this is a treat for Eddy-MacDonald fans.


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