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"Hey Butcher, Hey Baker, Love's Landed a Real Haymaker"
It was not planned that way, but as it turns out the film adaption of the Rodgers&Hart Broadway musical I Married an Angel turned out to be the last pairing of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. Nelson in fact left Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer after this film and bought his own contract out for $250,000.00 according to a recently published book about the pair by Sheryl Rich.
They are in good voice and the songs of Rodgers&Hart never got a better treatment. Unfortunately the film ran into some censorship problems about celestial creatures doing some very earthly things. Rodgers&Hart were busy on Broadway and couldn't help. Two very big shows for them, Pal Joey and By Jupiter kept them occupied.
Nelson is a happy carefree Hungarian playboy who's grandfather started the Bank of Budapest. But Nelson would rather spend his time with wine, women, and song and since it's Nelson Eddy, song doesn't take third place to the other two. At his birthday party he's taken by a little known to him employee at the bank in an angel costume. Guess who that is? Feeling a little the worse for wear from the revelry, Nelson takes a little snooze.
During the dream Jeanette appears to him as a real angel and Nelson is smitten. He asks her to marry him and she agrees. She's without a dishonest bone in her heavenly body.
Unfortunately her time in heaven has not prepared her to deal with certain earthly hypocrisies. It's one wild celestial ride that Jeanette gives Nelson.
The title song, I'll Tell the Man in the Street, and Spring is Here are the big hit numbers from the Broadway show and the stars do them well. The satire comes off far better here than it did for Jeanette and Nelson in Bittersweet, but still censorship really crippled some of the best lines from Broadway.
Binnie Barnes, Reginald Owen, Edward Everett Horton and Douglass Dumbrille give good support to the singing sweethearts. Barnes practically steals the show as the wisecracking earthly friend of MacDonald who sets out to teach her worldly ways.
I think fans of MacDonald and Eddy and others who do knock this film ought to give it a second look. It's not as bad as some would make it out to be.
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