5.6/10
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11 user 1 critic

Sweet Adeline (1934)

In 1898, composer Sid Barnett manages to get his sweetheart, Adeline the beer-garden singer, to sing the lead in his new Broadway operetta; this infuriates Elysia, the erstwhile star. But ... See full summary »

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Jerome Kern (by), Oscar Hammerstein II (by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Irene Dunne ... Adeline Schmidt
Donald Woods ... Sid Barnett
Hugh Herbert ... Rupert Rockingham
Ned Sparks ... Dan Herzig
Joseph Cawthorn ... Oscar Schmidt
Wini Shaw ... Elysia (as Winifred Shaw)
Louis Calhern ... Major Day
Nydia Westman ... Nellie
Dorothy Dare ... Dot
Phil Regan ... Michael
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Storyline

In 1898, composer Sid Barnett manages to get his sweetheart, Adeline the beer-garden singer, to sing the lead in his new Broadway operetta; this infuriates Elysia, the erstwhile star. But Sid frets as Adeline spends increasing amounts of time with the dashing Major Day. Written by Diana Hamilton <hamilton@gl.umbc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A MAGNIFICENT PICTURIZATION OF THE STAGE TRIUMPH THAT MADE AMERICA YOUNG AGAIN! (Buffalo Courier-Express,((Buffalo, NY)) 15 January 1935)

Genres:

Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 December 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Tua Canção See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The following cast members in studio records/casting call lists (with their character names) did not appear in the movie: Jack Mulhall (Bob), Harry Tyler (Louis), Martin Garralaga (Dark young man), Nick Copeland (Prop man), Ferdinand Munier (General Hawkes), Joseph E. Bernard (Waiter) and 'Mary Treen'. See more »

Goofs

The action takes place in 1898, but two cast members sing the title song, "You're the Flower of My Heart, Sweet Adeline", which wasn't published until 1903. See more »

Connections

Featured in Queerama (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Adeline
(1903) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Armstrong
Lyric by Richard H. Gerard
Played during the opening credits
Reprised by the band at Schmidt's beer garden
Sung later by Hugh Herbert and Donald Woods
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tuneful Jerome Kern classic
17 July 2004 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Sweet Adeline was presented on the Broadway stage back in 1929 and was primarily a vehicle for Helen Morgan. Morgan had just made a big hit in Kern's greatest musical, Showboat, in the supporting part of Julie LaVerne. She got such raves for that part that a whole show was built around her. I tend to think that she was deep into alcoholism at the time this was done and was not asked to do the film version. Sweet Adeline unfortunately during its run, ran headlong into the Great Depression and had to close.

Irene Dunne carries the film version here and does a remarkable job. She was one of the great Hollywood talents of her time with an exquisite soprano voice for films like these and a good sense of comedy for some of the non-musical parts she did. She performs the standards that Morgan introduced on Broadway as good as Morgan did. Sweet Adeline had two big hit numbers Why Was I Born and Don't Ever Leave Me which are two of the best Jerome Kern ever wrote. Otto Harbach wrote the lyrics.

Unfortunately and I think that this was because Sweet Adeline was a star vehicle for Helen Morgan when originally done, Ms. Dunne was not given a strong leading man. Donald Woods was a competent actor, with all the charisma of dishwater. His best known part in films was in A Tale of Two Cities where he played Charles Darnay where essentially all he had to do was look handsome and earnest. More was required here and Irene could have used Allan Jones who she did Showboat with or if you wanted a non-singer, Cary Grant, Melvyn Douglas, or Spencer Tracy all of whom she did some classic films with.

The rest of the cast was good. Louis Calhern played the villain in the best Snidely Whiplash tradition. His proposition to Irene that he was not interested in marriage to her, just in living together was generations ahead of its time. Ned Sparks and Hugh Herbert perform their usual parts in Warner Brothers musicals and there were some nice turns by Nydia Westman and Joseph Cawthorn as Dunne's sister and father respectively.

Mervyn LeRoy did succeed nicely in capturing the old fashioned flavor of life at the turn of the last century. If you're an Irene Dunne fan this is a must.


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