Sweethearts (1938)

Passed   |    |  Musical

Sweethearts (1938) Poster

The team behind a successful Broadway production tries to stop the married stars from transitioning to Hollywood.


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24 May 2001 | Doylenf
Jeanette and Nelson in their first technicolor musical...
MGM spared no expense in dressing up the sets and costumes for an opulent technicolor musical starring America's singing sweethearts, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. They even included a witty script by Dorothy Parker, songs by Victor Herbert and a supporting cast that included Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Reginald Gardiner and Allyn Joslyn. But changing tastes have made this one questionable material for today's audiences.

This time the stars are not in period costumes. The story is a contemporary one about two stage stars tired of appearing for the sixth straight year on Broadway in a musical called "Sweethearts" who decide to give Hollywood a try. Plot complications occur when blustery Frank Morgan uses trickery to make Jeanette believe Nelson is cheating on her. Everything is straightened out for a happy ending that reunites the two stars and has them both returning to the Broadway scene where their hearts truly lie.

Fans of the famous duo will undoubtedly enjoy this one, but today's movie fans are likely to be put off by much of the humor. Acting styles and singing tastes have changed drastically since 1938. The stars are in fine voice but the songs are not among Herbert's best and, while there are a few amusing moments, the film has a very dated quality both in story and acting that makes it sometimes seem like an unpleasant pill to swallow.

This is true even though both stars are photographed to advantage and are still at their physical peak here--but as a musical, despite the technicolor trimmings, it falls short of being a real winner.

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