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Melody for Two (1937)

Approved | | Romance, Musical | 1 May 1937 (USA)
Mel Lynch and his aide 'Remorse' Rumson are wheeler dealer managers for big band leader Tod Weaver. They finally get him into the big time but then must deal with competing singers Gale Starr and Lorna Wray.

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(story "Special Arrangements"), | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Tod Weaver
... Gale Starr
... Camille Casey
... 'Remorse' Rumson
... Mel Lynch
... Lorna Wray (as Winifred Shaw)
... 'Scoop' Trotter (as Charles Foy)
... Bill Hallam
... Walter Wilson (as Gordon Elliott)
... Exodus Johnson (as Eddie Anderson)
Eddie Kane ... Alex Montrose
Gordon Hart ... Mr. Woodruff
... Mr. Armstrong
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Storyline

A professional triangle with some personal twists thrown in is presented. Bandleader Tod Weaver has a successful New York career with Gale Starr, his girl, his lead female vocalist - Tod being the lead male vocalist - performing urbane classy melodically driven songs, expertly arranged by Mel Lynch, in upscale uptown clubs. Tod and Mel have a falling out, partly because of Mel's interest in Gale professionally and personally, with neither backing down from their principled positions of Tod not wanting anything to do with Mel ever again, and Mel wanting to ruin Tod. Gale somewhat sides with Mel if only for the survival of her own career, which leads to Gale taking over Tod's band at their latest gig at the Sky Terrace, and Tod being blacklisted by uptown clubs and the bandleaders' association. But with Tod goes his faithful manager Remorse Rumson and publicist Scoop Trotter, whose professional lives are also at stake. The three have different perspectives of how to get Tod on his feet ... Written by Huggo

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Genres:

Romance | Musical

Certificate:

Approved
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Release Date:

1 May 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

King of Swing  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut (at age 12) of Donald O'Connor. Along with his brothers Billy O'Connor and Jack O'Connor, Donald did a specialty routine. Billy died a year or two later after contracting scarlet fever. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sunburst (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

A Flat in Manhattan
Music by M.K. Jerome
Lyrics by Jack Scholl
Performed by Patricia Ellis
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User Reviews

 
September in the Rain
17 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

MELODY FOR TWO is a typical "B" movie musical of the late 1930's, running little over an hour featuring a talented but non-star cast. Don't expect 42ND STREET but do expect some good vocals, a number of funny lines, lots of entertainment, and some extremely good songs, notably "September in the Rain" which became far more famous than the film it debuted in and is surely as a great a movie song as any ever written.

James Melton stars as a band-leader who tangles with arrogant songwriter Craig Reynolds, whom he fires right before his orchestra is about to begin a major contract with a New York nightclub. Reynolds takes his song collection with him, leaving Melton and band without any music for the show at the last minute. Band vocalist Patricia Ellis, something of a latent girlfriend to Melton, goes to Reynolds and persuades him to let the band use his song material for a high price under an non de plume , knowing Melton wouldn't take his songs for free. Reynolds agrees and the orchestra has a smash opening, only to have Reynolds blab to a gossip columnist about the secret which ridicules Melton. Angry, Melton quits the orchestra when the nightclub management refuses to drop the song repertoire which leads to him being blacklisted for walking out on a contract. Ellis reluctantly steps in as band-leader as well as vocalist and the band continues to be a major sensation. Feeling sympathy for Melton, she arranges for him to get a contract with a minor nightclub where despite the novelty angle of leading an all-girl orchestra business is poor until janitor Eddie Anderson (Rochester) persuades Melton to play music "hot" and provides him with some swing material. Then the tables are turned and Melton's band is the new sensation in town with his original orchestra with Ellis on the downturn. Eventually both bands must compete to obtain a radio contract and oily Reynolds is determined to pull underhanded tricks to see the results go his way.

Opera star James Melton is fine shape vocally but not one of the better singers-turned-actors although he has a pleasant personality. Pretty Patricia Ellis, one of the most prolific "B" movie leading ladies of the 1930's, is pleasant in her role but the movie is stolen by delightful little Marie Wilson as the dingy amateur musician who turns out has some very good ideas. The movie is also notable for featuring the wonderful Warners contractee Winifred Shaw as the vocalist for Melton's second band. Miss Shaw is simply one of the best singers in 1930's films and it's always a treat to see her. One does wish she had been the one to wrap her extraordinary vocals around "September in the Rain" although Melton does a very good job with it. The song alone is worth tuning in to hear - but the talented cast and smooth production makes the whole picture quite pleasing.


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