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12 user 3 critic

The Firefly (1937)

Nina Maria Azara is the beautiful and alluring singing spy for Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. Her mission is to seduce French Officers, in order for them to reveal Napolean's intentions ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Z. Leonard

Writers:

Frances Goodrich (screen play), Albert Hackett (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jeanette MacDonald ... Nina Maria Azara
Allan Jones ... Don Diego
Warren William ... Major de Rouchemont
Billy Gilbert ... Innkeeper
Douglass Dumbrille ... Marquis de Melito (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Henry Daniell ... General Savary
Leonard Penn ... Etienne
Tom Rutherford ... King Ferdinard (as Tom Rutherfurd)
Belle Mitchell ... Lola
George Zucco ... Secret Service Chief
Corbet Morris ... Duval (as Corbett Morris)
Matthew Boulton ... Wellington
Robert Spindola Robert Spindola ... Juan
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Storyline

Nina Maria Azara is the beautiful and alluring singing spy for Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. Her mission is to seduce French Officers, in order for them to reveal Napolean's intentions toward Spain. She is sent to Bayonne, France to gather military secrets. Prior to this, she meets, Don Diego while performing at a club. Unknown to her, Don Diego is actually Captain Andre, who is sent to Spain to spy on her. While in France, Nina discovers Diego's true identity, only after she has fallen in love with him. Nina Maria outwits her potential captors and returns to Spain, and goes into hiding. Napoleon's troops invade Spain, resulting in Nina's capture. In a strange twist of fate, Nina and Captain Andre are reunited, but, the 2 nations are now at war... Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jeanette MacDonald In Her Successor To "Maytime" See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tarantella See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film's initial USA telecast took place in Seattle Wednesday 5 December 1956 on KING (Channel 5); it first aired in Honolulu 30 June 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), in Norfolk VA 2 October 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Chicago 29 March 1958 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Philadelphia 16 April 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Binghamton NY 1 June 1958 on WNBF (Channel 12), in Cleveland 26 August 1958 on KYW (Channel 3), in New York City 24 February 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2), in San Francisco 26 June 1960 on KGO (Channel 7), and in Los Angeles 31 December 1961 on KTTV (Channel 11). See more »

Goofs

In one scene, women dance to a piece by Russian composer Korsakov. He was born in 1844, decades after Napoleon's era. See more »

Quotes

Don Diego: You have one bad habit.
Nina Maria Azara: Oh, yes? What?
Don Diego: You're always saying good-bye.
Nina Maria Azara: Very well then, I won't say good-bye. I'll just go!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Each time the dancing girls dance across the screen, a new screen credit is revealed. See more »

Connections

Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.25 (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

The Donkey Serenade
(uncredited)
Music by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart
Lyrics by Bob Wright and Chet Forrest
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Allan Jones
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Boring, over long confusion of historical epic and song
12 July 2014 | by bbmtwistSee all my reviews

Allan Jones has a wonderful voice, but a rather bland personality. He is no match for Jeannette MacDonald, who here gives her best dramatic performance on screen with not much to play against. Warren William is the villain and he has more presence than Jones.

Jones and MacDonald play spies, he for France and she for Spain, during Napoleon's attempt to kidnap the King of Spain and add that country to his fiefdom. There is much intrigue and a few songs along the way, the best known being The Donkey Serenade and Gianina Mia.

The problem lies in the length of the scenes and musical numbers. This film could easily have had half an hour snipped out of it, bringing it closer to conventional playing times of the period. At 2 hours, 10 minutes, it is just too long. And it is heavy-handedly directed and written.

The original operetta from 1912 had a few good tunes. Friml was third in line of talent, behind Romberg and Herbert, as America's trio of operetta composers. The score is just not good enough to mount a major film around.

MacDonald is always worth seeing, as she either matches or outshines her best material. This one, like Broadway Serenade a few years later, was not one of her best films and is recommended for her fans and those of Jones only.


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