12 January 2007 | bkoganbing
Battle Of The Swing Bands
In the barely one hour running time of Melody for Two a whole lot of musical numbers gets packed into it. So much so that unfortunately a lot of plot gets sacrificed.
When I saw that Donald O'Connor was supposed to be in Melody for Two it confirmed my suspicions that a lot got left on the cutting room floor. Who knows if O'Connor had actually appeared in Melody for Two and had gone to Warner Brothers how much different a career path he might have had.
James Melton and Patricia Ellis lead rival bands. In fact when the film starts out she's the female vocalist in his band. But when he gets into a stupid fight with his arranger and quits the club he's contracted for, she steps in and takes over the band.
Not to be outdone Melton goes out and hires himself an all female orchestra. Both of them get into the latest of crazes, swing music and turn professional rivals.
Right after this Melton left Warner Brothers and went on to grand opera and eventually became the lead tenor at the New York Metropolitan Opera in the Forties. But in this final Warner Brothers film, he introduced and popularized the song, September in the Rain.
Harry Warren and Al Dubin had originally written this for Melton's first Warner Brothers film, Stars Over Broadway, but it was cut, though you can hear it in the background. In Melody for Two Melton got to sing it and it became a big hit in 1937, one of Warren and Dubin's biggest.
Melody for Two is good easy to take entertainment. Look for Wini Shaw to also have a good number or two in it and Marie Wilson as the seemingly dumb bass fiddle player who comes up with the two ideas that change some personal history.