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
The film abounds with 'in jokes', many related to 'Gone With the Wind'. The PR chief and Tyrone Power's boss is called Whitney, possibly a reference to millionaire Jock Whitney, a major investor in Selznick International Inc. who put up half the money for the $50,000 option on Margaret Mitchell's novel "Gone With the Wind," then invested more money for its production. The studio boss (heard only on the telephone and not named) signs off with "I'll send a memo" - a clear reference to Selznick who was famous for communicating with everyone by lengthy memoranda. The big dance number "Back to Back" is possibly a sly joke by Irving Berlin at his own expense; Berlin's biggest dance hit was "Cheek to Cheek" in TOP HAT, the Astaire-Rogers classic made 4 years earlier. See more »
Entertaining, diverting Sonja Henie vehicle with Edna May Oliver for good support...
Fox certainly knew what kind of material to give their skating star, SONJA HENIE--a light but diverting plot, lots of musical interludes, a few skating sequences, a handsome co-star, some comedy relief and as many Sonja close-ups as possible.
They scored on every point with SECOND FIDDLE. It's light entertainment for the masses who came to see Sonja skate with everyone else playing second fiddle to her in importance. But TYRONE POWER manages to be impressive as her leading man, more charismatic than usual and spirited, suggesting that there was a lot more to him than the kind of roles he was getting at the time. It doesn't hurt that he's at his handsomest in this early film. And EDNA MAY OLIVER had no peer when it came to stealing the spotlight on an almost regular basis whenever she could.
Furthermore, RUDY VALLEE gets a chance to warble a couple of Irving Berlin tunes. He's part of a scheme by Power, a publicity agent for a Hollywood studio, to revive Vallee's fading career by getting a phony romantic buildup pairing him with Henie. Henie, of course, knows nothing of the scheme and therefore she and Power have romantic misunderstanding until the final reel.
It's a diverting piece of entertainment, one of the better Sonja Henie films produced by Fox and well worth seeing for the skating sequences alone, if you're a Henie fan. Her graceful routines are well choreographed for the camera.
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