Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1940. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Lesser Samuels, based on the play by Noel Coward. Cinematography by Oliver T. Marsh. Produced by Victor Saville. Music by Herbert Stothart. Production Design by Cedric Gibbons. Costume Design by Adrian, Gile Steele. Film Editing by Harold F. Kress. Academy Awards 1940.
If you can buy a late-thirties Jeanette MacDonald as a lovestruck teenager than you will get no end of pleasure from this stilted but beautifully shot adaptation of Noel Coward’s musical play. MacDonald abandons a life of privilege and wealth, not to mention a pre-arranged suitor, in order to live with violinist Nelson Eddy in abject poverty. Both stars perform each song with thrilling devotion, but the emotional element fails to really fly.