Tuesday, March 14, 2017


One night in Hoboken at Schmidt's Beer Garden, Schmidt announces he has re-named his chili "liberty beans" because of the Spanish-American War (90 years before Freedom Fries!). He also fires Sid (Donald Woods), the young composer who plays piano at his establishment because Sid has defied him in continuing to date his daughter Adeline (Irene Dunne). She wants to sing and act professionally, and when Sid gets backers to stage the operetta he's writing, he tries to get his producers to replace Elysia (Wini Shaw), the star they already have, with Adeline. But complications ensue: Major Day (Louis Calhern), the main backer, starts flirting with Adeline and eventually asks her to be his mistress, leading to a fight between Day and Sid; another producer comes to suspect that Elysia is a spy; at last, during the opening performance, someone sabotages the huge swing that Adeline uses in the play, causing an onstage injury. I generally like Dunne and Woods, but they both seem to be operating at low power here. Supporting performances by Calhern, Hugh Herbert and Ned Sparks give the movie some life, as do the production numbers, particularly "When We Were Young," which was inspired by Busby Berkekely’s wild Gold Diggers numbers. A minor musical to pass the time. Pictured from left: Woods, Dunne, Calhern. [TCM]

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