|THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE (director: William K. Howard; screenwriters: Bella & Sam Spewack/from the play by Jerome Kern & Otto Harbach; cinematographer: Harold Rosson/Charles Clarke; editor: Frank Hull; music: Herbert Stothart; cast: Ramon Novarro (Victor Florescu), Jeanette MacDonald (Shirley Sheridan), Frank Morgan (Daudet), Jean Hersholt (Professoor Bertier), Charles Butterworth (Charles, harp player), Henry Armetta (Taxi driver), Vivienne Segal (Odette), Joseph Cawthorn (Rudy), Frank Conroy (Theater Owner), Sterling Holloway (Flower boy); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Bernard H. Hyman; Warner Archive; 1934)|
the music is solid."
by Dennis Schwartz
musical comedy flatly directed by William K. Howard ("Fire
Over England"/"Valiant"/"Johnny Come Lately"). Only
the music is solid, with such songs as The Night Was
Made for Love, Try to Forget, One Moment Alone, I Watch the Love Parade,
A New Love Is Old and She Didn't Say Yes. It's based on the hit Broadway
musical by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach and is written
by Bella & Sam Spewack. It received
passable reviews, but had a disappointing box office.
American Shirley (Jeanette MacDonald) is a feisty
wise-cracking music student and Victor (Ramon Novarro)
is a struggling composer. They meet in a cab, as the
penniless composer is running away from paying a cafe
owner for his wine. Victor becomes obsessed with
Shirley and fawns over her while she humiliates him as
a loser and rejects his offer to rent a flat near him.
romantic promises to pay the taxi driver to gain favor
with her and then has to make a deal with the cabbie
to pay his part of the bargain by surrendering his
Shirley studies at the
Conservatory under Professor Bertier (Jean
(Frank Morgan) is a patron of the arts, who the
professor invites to the auditions of Victor and
Shirley. Because he's attracted to Shirley, Daudet
offers to have her song published. But she rejects the
patron and moves with Victor to Paris, where they live
together. But Daudet anyway publishes her song The
Night Was Made for Love and it becomes a sensation.
Meanwhile Victor still struggles and lover boy Victor
must flirt with the vain opera singer Odette (Vivienne
Segal) to get his musical on stage. The confused
Victor bolts for Brussels to put on the show, which is
financially backed by Odette's hubby Rudy (Joseph
Cawthorn). At the last minute Shirley returns
to Brussels to save his show. That sequence is in
Charles Butterworth provides the comic relief, as the eccentric harp player who gives Victor the coin to buy back his composition from the cabbie.
REVIEWED ON 8/8/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ