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 »


Robert Z. Leonard


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





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


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


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


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Riley Hill. See more »


When by the bridge we see a female with very long black plaits walking with her beau across the bridge. Not long after we see a closer shot of them about to walk across the bridge. See more »


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!
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Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in The Romance of Celluloid (1937) See more »


When a Maid Comes Knocking at Your Heart
Music by Rudolf Friml
Lyrics by Otto A. Harbach, Bob Wright & Chet Forrest
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald
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User Reviews

Romance, Political Intrigue and the beautiful Jeanette MacDonald
13 January 2015 | by atlasmbSee all my reviews

France and England are at war. Napoleon has placed troops in Spain "to protect the Spanish" in case England invades.

There is a beautiful cantina singer (and dancer!) named Nina Maria (Jeanette MacDonald) whom men fight over. She works as a spy for Spain. When Napoleon invites Ferdinand--who appears guileless--to France for a meeting, Nina Maria must leave for France immediately to determine if Napoleon's intentions are honorable.

She is pursued there by Don Diego (Allan Jones), a man smitten by the senorita. Along the way, he tries to charm her by singing "The Donkey Serenade"--one of the most memorable moments in the film.

When they arrive in Bayonne, France, things get complicated. The senorita discovers someone is on to her. The love story becomes more political as Nina Maria must make alliances based on trust. Will she let her heart guide her actions? What is Napoleon's true objective?

The two leads are excellent. Much of the surrounding cast portray military characters and they are very strong.

The lavish sets and a large number of extras give the film a feeling of richness, as when Joseph Napoleon and his military escort ride into Madrid.

Part romance, part political intrigue, "The Firefly" entertains while Jeanette MacDonald shines.

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Release Date:

5 November 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Firefly See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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