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The Cat and the Fiddle (1934)

A romance between a struggling composer and an American singer.


William K. Howard, Sam Wood (uncredited)


Bella Spewack (screen play), Sam Spewack (screen play) (as Samuel Spewack) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Ramon Novarro ... Victor
Jeanette MacDonald ... Shirley
Frank Morgan ... Daudet
Charles Butterworth ... Charles
Jean Hersholt ... Professor
Vivienne Segal ... Odette
Frank Conroy ... Theatre Owner
Henry Armetta ... Taxi Driver
Adrienne D'Ambricourt ... Concierge
Joseph Cawthorn ... Rudy


Victor Florescu is a talented, Brussels-based composer of serious music under the tutelage of respected Professor Bertier at the Music Conservatory. He is hoping to have his yet uncompleted operetta, "The Cat and the Fiddle", produced by famed impresario, Jules Daudet. Victor's focus in life changes when he meets Shirley Sheridan, a New Yorker just arrived in Brussels, she who moves into the pensione next to his own. He falls in love at first sight with her. She is also a composer - of the type of music more often heard in Tin Pan Alley - and is hoping to study with Professor Bertier. But it is Victor who helps her with her music. She also catches the attention of Daudet, who publishes her music although he is more interested in her as a woman. Regardless, she becomes rich and famous, and is required to move to Paris. In the short term, Victor, who moves to Paris with her, is more than willing to forgo his own musical aspirations to help her. But Victor is forced to choose between ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THEIR NIGHT WAS MADE FOR LOVE. THE DAWN CAME TOO SOON (Print Ad- Border Cities Star, ((Windsor, PO)) 2 April 1934) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film received its initial television showings in Chicago Thursday 9 May 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), followed by Philadelphia Monday 13 May 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6); it first aired in New York City 24 June 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Seattle 24 August 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Los Angeles 12 September 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), in Honolulu 29 September 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), and in Norfolk VA 9 December 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3); in Portland OR it was first aired 28 April 1958 on KGW (Channel 8), and in San Francisco it was finally telecast 5 August 1959 on KGO (Channel 7). The finale in 3-strip Technicolor was not restored back into its original hues until the film was shown by Turner Classic Movies on TNT in the late 1980s. See more »


Charles: I became rich at a single stroke. My uncle had the stroke yesterday.
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Referenced in Hollywood Party (1934) See more »


Don't Ask Me Not to Sing
(1933) (uncredited)
from the musical "Roberta"
Music by Jerome Kern
Lyrics by Otto A. Harbach
Sung by the chorus offscreen
Reprised in the show by the chorus
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User Reviews

For Jeanette Macdonald fans only
16 September 2004 | by 39-0-13See all my reviews

A European songwriter with classical pretensions meets an American songwriter interested in popular music. He falls madly and impetuously in love with her, while neglecting his private audience before an impresario who could give him his Big Chance. He eventually plays before him, but the older man is more interested in the girl friend. Complications ensue. The girl's song becomes a big hit, and the young man has to make his mark on his own. For a time he seems to have the help of an Older Woman, but she chooses not to ruffle her husband's feathers. A stage performance of his musical is saved by the American's intervention, performing the lead role. He wins the girl's love, after all, despite many disruptions and her last minute spurning of her older benefactor who is by now her official fiancé.

This is a painful movie to watch. Novarro plays a very annoying, very stupid character. How any woman can fall in love with him strains belief. Even a casual moralist might have trouble with the empty headed antics of the major figures. This movie may have been made before the Hays Office censors forced cuts, for the movie makers wanted to be naughty or salacious in the story line.

As for the actors, Ramon Novarro may have been able to sing, but he is not a Nelson Eddy, much less akin to any of Eddy's successors on screen (Allan Jones, Tony Martin, Howard Keel, John Raitt, etc.).

Jeanette Macdonald is wonderful. She has been a favorite of mine since I saw her on stage at Kansas City's Starlight Theater (an outdoor stage in KC's Swope Park), playing the Gertrude Lawrence role in THE KING AND I sometime in the early '50's. The music is really only so-so. "The Night was Made for Love" is the big hit, and it's laughable. Jerome Kern gets the credit for the score, but Cole Porter and Irving Berlin composed better screen music overall.

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Release Date:

16 February 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cat and the Fiddle See more »


Box Office


$843,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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