5 February 2011 | drednm
Grace Moore, Franchot Tone & Walter Connolly
Grace Moore stars as a feisty younger daughter of the eccentric Duke of Bavaria (Walter Connolly) whose oldest daughter is off to Vienna to marry the Emperor (Franchot Tone). Moore follows along, masquerading as a dressmaker. The arranged royal marriage when Tone spies Moore and is smitten. The masquerade continues in a merry mix-up until the finale.
Moore is good here, light and comic, but the songs are all rather bland. Tone is handsome as the Emperor, and Connolly steals the show as the beer-guzzling duke. Co-stars include the wonderful Herman Bing as proprietor of the inn, Elisabeth Risdon as the Empress, Nana Bryant as the mother, Frieda Inescort as Helena, Victor Jory as Palfi, Eve Southern as the fortune teller, and Johnny Arthur as the inept chief of police. Others include Thurston Hall, Raymond Walburn, Al Shean, E.E. Clive, William Hopper, and George Hassell.
Moore had a hit-or-miss 9-film career in the 30s, She flopped badly in her 1930 debut in A LADY'S MORALS but had a big hit and an Oscar nomination for ONE NIGHT OF LOVE in 1934.
And yes, Broadway Superstar Gwen Verdon made her film debut here as a ballerina. She was 11 years old.