6.2/10
383
12 user 6 critic

Bitter Sweet (1940)

Passed | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 8 November 1940 (USA)
A woman runs away with her music teacher in order to escape an arranged marriage, but they struggle to make ends meet.

Director:

(as W.S. Van Dyke II)

Writers:

(original play) (as Noel Coward), (screen play)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sarah Millick
... Carl Linden
... Baron von Tranisch
... Lord Shayne
... Max
... Harry Daventry
... Dolly
... Jane
... Ernst
... Mrs. Millick
... Herr Schlick (as Sig Rumann)
... Lady Daventry
... Herr Wyler
... Manon
... Market Keeper
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Storyline

In order to avoid an arranged marriage with a man she doesn't love, Sarah Millick runs off to Vienna with her music teacher, Carl Linden, whom she does love. They are married. In Vienna, they struggle to make a living by making music. Carl writes an operetta and tries to get it produced. They are helped along by Viennese Baron, but his intentions are not honorable. He kills Carl in a sword fight. A big producer does put on the operetta, with Sari in the lead -- but without her husband, it is a bittersweet victory. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Technicolor's Greatest Spectacle! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bittersweet  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Noël Coward's wistful reflection in song, "If Love Were All," sung by Jeanette MacDonald, was deleted from the movie. In the 1933 British-made film production, Anna Neagle had sung the classic ballad. See more »

Quotes

Sarah Millick, later Sari Linden: [over a very sparse dinner] Oh well, maybe it's all for the best. I hear more people die from overeating than from any other cause.
Carl Linden: I bet we'll be immortal, then. I hate Herr Weiller.
Sarah Millick, later Sari Linden: I hate the market keeper.
Carl Linden: I hate the landlord.
Sarah Millick, later Sari Linden: That's not fair, *I* was going to hate the landlord. *You* hate Herr Weiller again.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on a sewing sampler. See more »

Connections

Remake of Bitter Sweet (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Kiss Me
(1929) (uncredited)
Written by Noël Coward
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tokay
28 March 2006 | by See all my reviews

No wonder Noel Coward had such low esteem of what Hollywood could do to his plays. Judging by what comes out on "Bitter Sweet", Mr. Coward had a case. The problem seems to be in the adaptation of the material. Lesser Samuels took too many liberties with the musical, and in a lot of ways, it seems this is a rework of "Maytime", as other contributors to this forum have expressed.

The film had all the right elements going for it, but somehow, this typically English musical is anything but English. W. S. Van Dyke, a director who worked extensively in the genre doesn't appear to have been inspired by the material. MGM gave this film its usual lavish production, yet, this Technicolor film lacks some of the magnificent look the studio gave "Maytime", a black and white movie.

Jeanette MacDonald has a bigger role than her co-star. She also has a more passable British accent, whereas Mr. Eddy, who is supposed to be Austrian, doesn't sound credible. George Sanders is seen as the Baron Von Tranisch, a cad who has an eye for spotting good looking women. Ian Hunter, Sig Rumann, and others are seen in supporting roles.

"Bitter Sweet", while enjoyable, is not one the best films the singing stars duo did for MGM.


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