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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Diamond Horseshoe . It was planned as a production of Twentieth Century before they merged with Fox, and although it was the first production of the new organization, it was the last film Darryl Zanuck produced on the United Artists lot. According to a HR news item, on the first day of shooting, there was no supervisor listed, as Zanuck was handling the film himself. However, in later production charts, William Goetz is credited as associate producer. After the first day of shooting, Rudolph Maté replaced George Schneiderman as first cameraman, according to HR . NYT noted that the character of Ghita Galin "seems to be modeled after one of our front-page divas," and that the film aimed "a savage blow at the Metropolitan Opera Association for its treatment of American singers." Lib states that the film cost over one-half million dollars and came at what may have been the tail end of a heavy opera vogue. According to HR , this was Lawrence Tibbett's screen comeback after three years' absence. In the film, he sang "On the Road to Mandalay," which he was famous for singing in concert and on the radio. According to a HR news item, E. Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen wrote the song "Last Night When We Were Young" for Tibbett and Virginia Bruce to sing in the film. That song, however, was not in the final ... More Less

The working title of this film was Diamond Horseshoe . It was planned as a production of Twentieth Century before they merged with Fox, and although it was the first production of the new organization, it was the last film Darryl Zanuck produced on the United Artists lot. According to a HR news item, on the first day of shooting, there was no supervisor listed, as Zanuck was handling the film himself. However, in later production charts, William Goetz is credited as associate producer. After the first day of shooting, Rudolph Maté replaced George Schneiderman as first cameraman, according to HR . NYT noted that the character of Ghita Galin "seems to be modeled after one of our front-page divas," and that the film aimed "a savage blow at the Metropolitan Opera Association for its treatment of American singers." Lib states that the film cost over one-half million dollars and came at what may have been the tail end of a heavy opera vogue. According to HR , this was Lawrence Tibbett's screen comeback after three years' absence. In the film, he sang "On the Road to Mandalay," which he was famous for singing in concert and on the radio. According to a HR news item, E. Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen wrote the song "Last Night When We Were Young" for Tibbett and Virginia Bruce to sing in the film. That song, however, was not in the final film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
26-Oct-35
---
Daily Variety
16 Oct 35
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Oct 35
p. 8.
HF
27 Jul 35
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jul 35
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 35
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 35
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 35
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 35
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 36
sect. II, p. 69.
Motion Picture Herald
26 Oct 35
p. 72.
Motion Picture Herald
2 Nov 35
p. 15.
New York Times
18 Oct 35
p. 27.
Variety
24-Mar-35
---
Variety
27-Jun-35
---
Variety
23 Oct 35
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Ralina Zarova
Alex Schoenberg
Jeannie Roberts
Edward Clayton
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Darryl F. Zanuck Twentieth Century Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Ed asst
COSTUMES
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
SONGS
"On the Road to Mandalay," music by Oley Speaks, words by Rudyard Kipling, from his Barrack Room Ballads
"De Glory Road," music by Jacques Wolfe, words by Clement Wood
selections from the operas Faust , music by Charles Gounod, libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, La sonnambula , music by Vincenzo Bellini, libretto by Felice Romani, Carmen , music by Georges Bizet, libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, Cavalleria rusticana , music by Pietro Mascagni, libretto by Guido Menasci and Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti, and I pagliacci , music and libretto by Ruggiero Leoncavallo.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Diamond Horseshoe
Release Date:
8 November 1935
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 October 1935
Production Date:
29 July--7 September 1935 at United Artists Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
8 November 1935
Copyright Number:
LP6065
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
79
Length(in feet):
6,685
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1475
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As she attempts unsuccessfully to repair her stalled car sixteen miles outside of New York City, Anne Merrill switches the car radio from a cowboy song to opera and begins to sing along. Thomas Renwick, carrying fishing gear nearby, joins her in song and offers to help with the car. After he reveals that he sings with the Metropolitan Opera, he catches his bus still carrying Anne's wrench. She then discovers that he left his fishing bag with one small fish inside. While watching a performance at the Met, Anne spies Tom through her binoculars nearly hidden among the background singers. When her escort, Niki Baroni, whose proposals she has refused because she wants to have a singing career, learns of her interest in Tom, who is his friend, he promises to take her to meet him. After the performance, temperamental diva Ghita Galin berates the opera director Moselli for not choosing her for the lead and then threatens to form her own opera company. Although Tom is scheduled to play Amonasro in Aida when the lead cannot go on because of illness, Maselli substitutes a known singer because Tom has no name or reputation. Feeling that he needs to prove himself, Tom quits the Met. That night, Niki brings Anne to Tom's home. In the midst of their conversation, Ghita, who was infatuated with Tom in Naples, calls and says that she wants him as artistic director of her new opera. Tom convinces her to hire as her conductor Papa Perontelli, a former conductor at La Scala whose career went downhill after he quit because he ... +


As she attempts unsuccessfully to repair her stalled car sixteen miles outside of New York City, Anne Merrill switches the car radio from a cowboy song to opera and begins to sing along. Thomas Renwick, carrying fishing gear nearby, joins her in song and offers to help with the car. After he reveals that he sings with the Metropolitan Opera, he catches his bus still carrying Anne's wrench. She then discovers that he left his fishing bag with one small fish inside. While watching a performance at the Met, Anne spies Tom through her binoculars nearly hidden among the background singers. When her escort, Niki Baroni, whose proposals she has refused because she wants to have a singing career, learns of her interest in Tom, who is his friend, he promises to take her to meet him. After the performance, temperamental diva Ghita Galin berates the opera director Moselli for not choosing her for the lead and then threatens to form her own opera company. Although Tom is scheduled to play Amonasro in Aida when the lead cannot go on because of illness, Maselli substitutes a known singer because Tom has no name or reputation. Feeling that he needs to prove himself, Tom quits the Met. That night, Niki brings Anne to Tom's home. In the midst of their conversation, Ghita, who was infatuated with Tom in Naples, calls and says that she wants him as artistic director of her new opera. Tom convinces her to hire as her conductor Papa Perontelli, a former conductor at La Scala whose career went downhill after he quit because he lost his temper and became an alcoholic. In Philadelphia, where Ghita has leased a theater for tryouts, Papa is exasperated because of her tardiness for rehearsals, and Tom is touchy about gossip linking him romantically with Ghita, who has been trying to seduce him. After a run-in with Ghita, Papa is persuaded not to quit by manager Ugo Pizzi, who reminds him how much the performance means to Tom's career. However, when on a whim, Ghita decides to switch from The Barber of Seville to Carmen , Papa walks off and leaves in a cab. Tom and Anne, who is a singer in the show, chase after him, but once they are in the country, they discover that they have followed the wrong cab. After they are inticed to have tea by a couple of children, Tom confesses that he loves Anne, who says she is very happy. Just then, Papa's cab stops, and Tom succeeds in getting him to come back. When Ghita hears Anne sing a beautiful aria, she interrupts and jealously demands that either Anne or she goes. Although Tom tells Anne that he will leave, she convinces him to stay and he kisses her. When Ghita's voice cracks in the midst of an aria, she blames Papa and declares that there will be no opera. Tom talks with the creditors, and he is given until six that night to raise $11,000. When things look hopeless, Anne learns about the situation, and as she writes Tom a check for the amount, she reveals that she is really Anne Merrill Beaconhill of the wealthy Boston family, but that she wanted to make it as a singer on her own. Tom gathers the company together and tells them they will perform Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana , but no one can find Papa. Tom and Anne, who rehearses for the female lead, plan to get married if the show goes well. The rehearsals are very straining for Tom, who feels that they need a genius like Papa to bring the company together. Papa finally returns and on the night of the opening reminds Tom that he must not fail. Despite being near exhaustion, Tom sings magnificently. During the exuberant ovation, after Tom takes his bow, he kisses Anne backstage. She tells him to take another one, whereupon he kisses her again. Although she explains that she meant a bow, Tom kisses her a third time. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.