Swing High, Swing Low (1937)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 1937.  Screenplay by , based on a play by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by , , .  Production Design by Hans Dreier, .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

 misses her boat while carousing around Panama with  and ends up getting stuck there. He’s a world class trumpet player and she’s a little bit of a singer, so they get work in a seedy bar, fall in love and get married. When his ship comes in, figuratively, he moves to Broadway with the intention of sending for her later, but instead enjoys becoming the toast of the town and forgets about his wife while she pines away for him down south. This very strange melodrama remakes The Dance Of Life with more emphasis placed on comedy (particularly Lombard’s brilliant sarcasm), but then doesn’t shy away from the tragedy of the third act, creating a very strange blend. The performances are strong, however, MacMurray a bit shrill but Lombard world-class the whole way. Look for a dashingly young  as a Latin lover who causes a ruckus in a bar over Lombard’s beauty. Later remade with Betty Grable and Dan Dailey as When My Baby Smiles At Me.

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