2 December 2007 | wes-connors
Going to the Operetta with Novarro and MacDonald
Ramon Novarro (as Victor) is a struggling musician, trying to make ends meet, in Brussels. After delighting diners with a new composition, Mr. Novarro refuses to pay the owner for some wine, and runs away. He loses pursuers by hopping into a car, which is occupied by another poor musician, singer Jeanette MacDonald (as Shirley). Novarro is smitten with Ms. MacDonald, and woos her from his neighboring apartment. The two are drawn to each other, both romantically and professionally. On the verge of becoming a successful team, Novarro's producer Frank Morgan (as Daudet) becomes a romantic rival for MacDonald's affections.
Operetta films featuring soprano MacDonald aren't exactly my favorite of movie genres; but, this one is better than most. Stars Novarro and MacDonald are very engaging; Novarro has a couple of great, unexpected, dramatic scenes. Look for some entertaining supporting performances, too; Charles Butterworth is especially good as the "Harp Player". The film eventually becomes a total operetta, with Novarro and MacDonald singing until the end of "The Cat and the Fiddle". The last song is shown in color. The better song was "The Night Was Made for Love".
****** The Cat and the Fiddle (2/16/34) William K. Howard ~ Ramon Novarro, Jeanette MacDonald, Frank Morgan, Charles Butterworth