No, No, Nanette (1940 film)

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No, No, Nanette
"No. No, Nanette" (1940 film).jpg
Directed by Herbert Wilcox
Produced by Merrill G. White (associate producer)
Herbert Wilcox (producer)
Written by Frank Mandel (musical)
Otto A. Harbach (musical)
Vincent Youmans (musical)
Emil Nyitray (musical)
Ken Englund (screenplay)
Starring See below
Cinematography Russell Metty
Edited by Elmo Williams
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • December 13, 1940 (1940-12-13)
Running time
96 minutes
126 minutes (Ontario, Canada)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $570,000[1]
Box office $940,000[1]

No, No, Nanette is a 1940 American film directed by Herbert Wilcox and based on both the 1919 stage play and the 1930 film of the same name. It was one of several films the British producer/director made with Anna Neagle (whom he married in 1943) for RKO studios in the U.S.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

Personable Nanette helps her philandering millionaire uncle Jimmy out of several embarrassing situations with beautiful women he's promised careers to; and in the process, Nanette becomes romantically involved with both a musical comedy producer, and a young artist .



Victor Mature was borrowed from Hal Roach.[3]


  • Anna Neagle - "No No Nanette" (Written by Vincent Youmans and Irving Caesar)
  • Anna Neagle and Roland Young - "I Want To Be Happy" (Written by Vincent Youmans and Irving Caesar)
  • Tamara - "I Want To Be Happy"
  • Eve Arden - "I Want To Be Happy"
  • Sung by Anna Neagle and Richard Carlson - "I Want To Be Happy"
  • Anna Neagle and Richard Carlson - "Tea For Two" (Written by Vincent Youmans and Irving Caesar)
  • "Ochi Chornya" (traditional)


Box office[edit]

Although the film was popular its cost meant it made a small loss of $2,000.[1]


Variety wrote:

Musical comedies rarely have much story. That’s all right. No one expects them to. Plot is compensated for in a hit tune show by good music. That’s an elementary show business lesson taught in a class that producer Herbert Wilcox must have skipped. In making a film version of the 1925 Broadway hit...Wilcox saves all the book but very little of the music. ‘Tea for Two’ and ‘I Want to Be Happy’, as well as the title tune, ‘No, No, Nanette’ have been reduced to virtually incidental music. Even at that, Wilcox has been fortunate. Nanette has a pretty good plot as musical comedy plots go. He has erred, however, in complicating it instead of simplifying it, as was needed. Wilcox has been lavish, however, in instilling production values in Nanette and there’s no denying, despite their age, the lilt of the Vincent Youmans tunes.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p56
  2. ^ "No, No, Nanette - Film from RadioTimes". 
  3. ^ Kane to Produce Here; Withers Film on List Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Aug 1940: 17.
  4. ^ Staff, Variety (January 1, 1940). "Review: ‘No, No, Nanette’". 

External links[edit]