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The Cat and the Fiddle

(1934 b 89')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Adapted from an operetta by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach, a composer falls in love with a song-writer, who becomes successful before he does.

Composer Victor (Ramon Novarro) refuses to pay for a meal and runs away, getting into a taxi with Shirley (Jeanette MacDonald). They argue and spill her clothes. The taxi driver (Henry Armetta) takes Victor's music. Professor (Jean Hersholt) tells Victor to find his music so he can see Daudet. Victor and Shirley hear each other's pianos. Victor climbs in the window to return Shirley's slip. She sings "The Night Was Made for Love" with him. Victor kisses her, and she slaps him. Victor borrows money from music-lover Charles (Charles Butterworth) to get his music back. Victor hurries and knocks down Daudet (Frank Morgan). Victor says he is in love. Daudet listens to his music, and Victor sings "One Moment Alone." Daudet tells Victor he will produce his operetta. Shirley sings "The Night Was Made for Love," and Daudet says he'll publish it. Shirley gets flowers from Daudet. Victor brings pans for her leaky roof, and they kiss. Charles and musicians come in and dance. Shirley sings "She Didn't Say 'Yes.'" Shirley tells Daudet that he is too late. Daudet tells Victor they are going to Paris.

Shirley's song makes money. She and Victor compose and sing "I Watch the Love Parade." Odette (Vivienne Segal) sings to Victor "A New Love Is Old." She wants to be in his operetta. Daudet asks Victor to give up Shirley, who is packing for Brussels so that Victor can work. Shirley asks Victor to marry; but he says he wants to be successful first. Odette stars in Victor's The Cat and the Fiddle. Odette tells Victor that she married Rudy (Joseph Cawthorn) for security. Victor and Odette kiss as Rudy comes in. Rudy makes Odette choose theater or marriage, and Odette and Rudy leave the show. Victor writes a check but can't pay salaries. Charles reads that Shirley is engaged to Daudet. Charles asks Shirley to play the lead and save Victor from jail. She sings Victor's "Try to Forget."

On opening night Victor will play the lead, and Charles get the aged Lotte for the female lead; but she is found drunk. Victor hears Shirley singing on stage. She comes off and tells Victor she is marrying Daudet, who insisted she save Victor. Shirley changes clothes as they go over lines. Victor pleads with Shirley, but she goes on stage to sing. In a color sequence Shirley and Victor sing "One Moment Alone" and kiss.

This musical comedy explores the difficulty of the role reversal when a woman's career is more successful than the man's.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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