Sweethearts (1938 film)

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Sweethearts
Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald in Sweethearts trailer.jpg
From the original trailer
Directed by W.S. Van Dyke
Produced by Hunt Stromberg
Written by book: Fred De Gresac
Harry B. Smith
Robert B. Smith
Screenplay by Alan Campbell
Dorothy Parker
Laura Perelman
S.J. Perelman
Based on Sweethearts (1913 book)[1][2]
Starring Jeanette MacDonald
Nelson Eddy
Frank Morgan
Music by Victor Herbert
Herbert Stothart
Cinematography Oliver T. Marsh
Allen M. Davey
Edited by Robert Kern
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • December 22, 1938 (1938-12-22)
Running time 114 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,966,000[3]
Box office $2,017,000 (Domestic earnings)[3]
$1,230,000 (Foreign earnings)[3]

Sweethearts is a 1938 Technicolor musical romance directed by W.S. Van Dyke, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. The screenplay, by Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell, uses the “play within a play” device: a contemporary Broadway production of the 1913 Victor Herbert operetta is the setting for another pair of sweethearts, the stars of the show. This was the first color film for Nelson or Jeanette (as well as MGM's first three strip Technicolor feature).[4]

Plot[edit]

Broadway stars Gwen Marlow (Jeanette MacDonald) and Ernest Lane (Nelson Eddy) are appearing in a 6-year run of Victor Herbert's operetta Sweethearts (Ray Bolger dances the role of Hans). They are also very much in love after six years of marriage. Norman Trumpett (Reginald Gardiner) is a successful Hollywood talent scout under pressure to recruit Marlow and Lane for his studio, which their Broadway producer Felix Lehman (Frank Morgan) is equally determined to prevent.

The couple's attempts to rest and be together are repeatedly thwarted by professional and personal demands made on their time, talents and money by Lehman and their own theatrical families - who also live with them. Frustrated beyond endurance and seduced by Trumpett's idyllic (and false) description of working conditions in Hollywood, they decide to quit the show and take the Hollywood offer. (In guise of buying a new wardrobe for the trip Jeanette MacDonald models fashions of 1938.)

This spells “the end” for the Broadway production, news so devastating that constantly feuding playwright Leo Kronk (Mischa Auer) and composer Oscar Engel (Herman Bing) stop fighting long enough for Lehman, Kronk and company to hatch a counter-plot. By convincing Marlow that Lane is having an affair with his pretty secretary Kay Jordan (Florence Rice) they split-up the happy couple, putting an end to the Hollywood deal and allowing Lehman to mount two separate touring companies of the show, each with one star and one understudy.

Delighted with the outcome, Engel produces Kronk's new play - which closes in a week. From a Variety review of the play Marlow and Lane realize they were tricked and join forces to confront Lehman.... but nonetheless resume the Broadway run of “Sweethearts” together.

Cast[edit]

Awards[edit]

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Sound Recording (Douglas Shearer) and Best Music, Scoring (Herbert Stothart).[5] The film was MGM's first feature-length color film, and it received a special Academy Award for it s colour cinematography.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]