17 user 3 critic

Second Fiddle (1939)

Passed | | Comedy, Music | 30 June 1939 (USA)
A studio publicist discovers a Minnesota skating teacher and takes her to Hollywood. She goes back to Minnesota but he follows her.


Sidney Lanfield


Harry Tugend (screenplay), George Bradshaw (story)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sonja Henie ... Trudi Hovland
Tyrone Power ... Jimmy Sutton
Rudy Vallee ... Roger Maxwell
Edna May Oliver ... Aunt Phoebe
Mary Healy ... Jean Varick
Lyle Talbot ... Willie Hogger
Alan Dinehart ... George 'Whit' Whitney
Minna Gombell ... Jenny
Stewart Reburn Stewart Reburn ... Trudi's Skating Partner
Spencer Charters ... Joe Clayton
Charles Brokaw ... Assistant Director
The Brian Sisters The Brian Sisters ... Schoolroom Vocal Trio
John Hiestand John Hiestand ... Radio Announcer
George Chandler ... Taxi Driver
Irving Bacon ... Justice of the Peace Harvey Vaughan


Jimmy Sutton, tricky publicist for Consolidated Pictures, fetches teacher Trudi Hovland from snowy Minnesota to sunny Hollywood to test for the film of the best-seller "Girl of the North" - having come 436th in a competition several years earlier she is now next choice as leading lady. She gets the part, but despite his own growing attraction for her Jimmy deviously manufactures a romance between her and Roger Maxwell, a new star who desperately needs to pep-up his image. Written by J-26

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The show that licked the World's Fair!


Comedy | Music


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The plot of this movie, in which a Hollywood studio searches for an actress to play the lead role in the movie version of a best-selling novel, was inspired by the famous "Search for Scarlett O'Hara." From 1937-39, over 1400 actresses were interviewed by MGM, and production was delayed for two years, before Vivien Leigh was cast in the lead role in Gone with the Wind (1939). See more »


Jimmy Sutton: What are you making, Phoebe?
Aunt Phoebe: Don't know yet... started making a doily, and it got away from me!
See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Steps Out (1941) See more »


An Old Fashioned Tune Is Always New
Written by Irving Berlin
Sung by Rudy Vallee and ensemble
See more »

User Reviews

Excellent portrait of 1930's Hollywood film-making system
12 July 2000 | by leal717See all my reviews

This is the first Sonja Henie movie that I've seen in my entire life and I love her ever since. This excellent movie portraits the 1930's Hollywood film-making system having Tyrone Power as a "Consolidated Pictures" agent who discovers skating teacher Henie and makes her a "Hollywood Star". Excellent musical and well-acted movie. Lots of musicals and skating numbers performed by Rudy Vallee, Mary Healy and Sonja Henie.

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Release Date:

30 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Second Fiddle See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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