Movie Mirrors Index

Broadway Serenade

(1939 b 109')

En: 5 Ed: 5

A singer is separated from her composer husband when she is put in a show by a backer who romances her.

Mary Hale (Jeannette MacDonald) sings on stage; Jim Seymour (Lew Ayres) plays piano, punches a drunk, and is fired. Jim is a composer and tells his wife Mary that he won a scholarship in Italy. She sings his "Broadway Serenade for the Lonely Heart." Pearl (Virginia Grey) models a bathing suit for producer Cornelius Collier (Frank Morgan), making Judy (Rita Johnson) jealous. His backer Larry Bryant (Ian Hunter) lets Mary sing and has Collier hire her. Jim packs for Mary but doesn't go with her. In the show Mary sings "High Flyin'." Mary also sings "One Look at You." Jim calls Mary, who is a success. Larry loves Mary, who says she is happily married. Jim hears of Mary with Larry, fights, and is fired again along with Herman (Al Shean). Jim greets Mary at the train, and Larry takes them to her new apartment. Mary gives Jim a cigarette case to remind him not to fight and $1,000 for Italy. Bill (William Gargan) keeps Mary busy, but Larry goes in. Jim drinks. Larry is sued by displaced star Harriet Ingalls (Katharine Alexander), who threatens a scandal. Jim slugs Larry. The show presents Mary as Madame Butterfly singing "Un Bel Di." Mary finds Jim at Mrs. Olsen's packing and says she believes in him. Jim says she is owned by Collier and Larry and tears up her money. Mary slaps him and leaves.

Mary's career thrives. In a cab Collier proposes to Judy, and Mary tells Larry she is asking for a divorce. In a store Jim plays piano and sees the famous Mary singing. Jim gets the divorce notice and drinks. Herman tells Jim his music is great. Jim throws his music in the fire, and Herman burns his hands saving it. Herman urges Jim to put his feeling into music. Mary closes the show after two years and learns the divorce was granted. At the party Collier toasts Mary, and Larry asks her to marry. She announces it. Herman tells Jim that his rhapsody sold. Mary packs for Europe. Jim sees Larry and apologizes for hitting him. Jim and Herman call on Mary. Herman says that Jim is a success. Jim asks Mary to forgive him; but she says her life has changed, and he is too late. Collier tells Mary to stay, because he bought Jim's music. When Mary says no, Collier says he won't produce it. So Mary changes her mind. On opening night Larry tells Mary he is soused, realizing she loves Jim. Before leaving, Larry socks Jim. In the show performers in masks accompany Mary as she sings "Broadway Serenade" again.

In this dramatic musical the temperamental Jim needs to learn to control his temper and must overcome professional and personal rejection; but he is inspired by a friend to create great music.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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