In June 1944, twelve Japanese seaman are stranded on an abandoned-and-forgotten island called An-ta-han for seven years. The island's only inhabitants are the overseer of the abandoned ... See full summary »
Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still woo the handsome singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?
Josef von Sternberg,
A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Moran, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt's girl. ... See full summary »
The film depicts the courtship of Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria (1837-1898), nicknamed "Sisi", by her cousin Franz Joseph I of Austria (1830-1916, reigned 1848-1916). The complication is that Franz Joseph was originally engaged to Elisabeth's older sister Duchess Helene in Bavaria (1834-1890), nicknamed "Néné". The film depicts events from 1852 to 1854.Written by
An enjoyable romantic comedy - but not really a musical
I've always liked Grace Moore in movies, though I'm not quite sure why. She wasn't the greatest singer, and she had some annoying vocal mannerisms. But she certainly sang with enthusiasm, and that is probably what I've enjoyed about her film appearances.
Sometimes, as in her first success, One Night of Love, the singing was spirited but her delivery of dialog often stilted. That's not the case in this movie. She really comes across most often as very comfortable and natural, qualities that her co-star, Franchot Tone, had in spades. That, I think, is what makes this movie work for me. They are very good in their scenes together, very believable.
What remains a problem for me is the musical aspect of this movie. Others have complained that the songs aren't memorable. For me some are, like The Old Refrain, others not. But the big problem, for me, is that all the musical numbers, with the exception of one march, are vocal solos for Moore. (The march is sung by a men's chorus with Moore singing over them.) Because none of the other characters ever join in the singing, the musical numbers seem isolated from the rest of the picture, and it comes off less as a musical than as a romantic comedy with inserted songs. If you contrast it with a Jeannette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy or Maurice Chevalier picture from the same era, you see the difference.
The plot, as Viennese operettas go, isn't bad. The supporting actors are all good, though I agree that a little of Herman Bing goes a long way, and there is more than a little of him here.
All in all, an agreeable romantic comedy, with inserted songs that don't do anything to advance the story and could, indeed, be cut out without any loss in most cases.
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