5.0/10
195
7 user 3 critic

Hitting a New High (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 24 December 1937 (USA)
Lili Pons and Jack Oakie star as a nightclub singer with aspires to be an opera diva and the met star whom she chases all the way to a safari in Africa to make her dreams come true in this wacky musical comedy.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Robert Harari (story), Maxwell Shane (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lily Pons ... Suzette, aka Oogahunga, the Bird-Girl
Jack Oakie ... Corny Davis
John Howard ... Jimmy James
Eric Blore ... Cedric Cosmo, aka Captain Braceridge Hemingway
Edward Everett Horton ... Lucius B. Blynn
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Andreas Mazzini
Luis Alberni ... Luis Marlo
Vinton Hayworth ... Carter Haig (as Jack Arnold)
Leonard Carey ... Jervons, Blynn's Butler
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Storyline

Lili Pons and Jack Oakie star as a nightclub singer with aspires to be an opera diva and the met star whom she chases all the way to a safari in Africa to make her dreams come true in this wacky musical comedy.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

24 December 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

De zangvogel van Broadway en Parijs See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film lost considerable money at the box office. Lily Pons never made another non-concert film. See more »

Goofs

A Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo is seen in the African jungle when Oogahunga is found. Later on, Mazzini refers to Oogahunga as an "Egyptian Cockatoo". Cockatoos are native to Australia and some islands to its north, and are not found in Africa. A cockatoo is also seen later in Blynn's house as a pet, but this is not unusual, as cockatoos have been imported to the USA and kept as pets for many years. See more »

Soundtracks

The Oceana Roll
(1911) (uncredited)
Music by Lucien Denni
In the score when Cosmo pretends he's a sailor
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An often very funny movie
8 October 2015 | by richard-1787See all my reviews

This is an often very funny movie, with something of a hole in the middle of it.

Lily Pons, though a fine singer and an attractive woman - who didn't photograph well, at least in this picture - did not have the charisma to carry off a movie. If you compare her to Jeannette MacDonald or Grace Moore, her equivalents at MGM and Columbia, you will see what I mean. She isn't helped by the fact that she is given an unsympathetic role. Rather than another replay of the singer who dreams of singing opera and disdains popular music, this movie would have been much better if she had been presented as a singer who wanted to do both, and fight against the prejudice that held that opera singers shouldn't do popular music. The best numbers in this movie are when she does pop music - especially "Hitting a new high" - so her disdain for them doesn't make her attractive to the audience. The staging of the Mad Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor is downright bad, and would have confirmed opera-haters' views of why opera wasn't interesting. She just walks around with her arms extended gazing up at the sky. You would have NO idea what the number, a very dramatic one, is actually about from watching her performance of it in this movie.

What makes this a fun movie is the character parts - Jack Oakie, Edward Everett Horton, and Eric Blore - who are given really first-class material and a LOT of screen time, with which they do a really first-class job. Oakie and Horton come off as a quirky couple, with Horton as the straight man and Oakie as the guy with all the jokes. With many 1930s musicals you want to delete the dialogue scenes and just focus on the musical numbers. Here, frankly, it would be tempting to eliminate most of the musical numbers and the romantic scenes (which are few) and focus on the scenes with Oakie, Horton, and Blore.

Though I would save the scene in "Africa" where Pons appears in a lagoon singing to exotic birds. It's the most charming number in the movie, and nicely done.


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