Full page view
HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Maiden Voyage and Maiden Cruise . Melody Cruise was the first sound feature film directed by Mark Sandrich. According to modern sources, producer Brock convinced his studio superiors to hire Sandrich, who had directed an Academy Award winning RKO 1932 short, "So This Is Harris," and had assisted on RKO's 1932 feature, Hold 'Em Jail , for this production. The NYT review commented extensively on Sandrich's imaginative direction, praising in particular his use of "cinematic stunts" and his "blending of different sounds." One such "stunt," for instance, takes place during the final scene in which "Grace" reads the damning letter. As she starts to read, the image of "Pete" actually shrinks proportionally until he is a speck sitting next to his wife. Reviewers also touted the ballet sequence, which was staged on ice. Brock, who had been head of the short film department, made his feature film debut with this production. Var noted that this film marked vaudeville performer Chick Chandler's "first real screen debut." Prior to Melody Cruise , Chandler appeared in a 1925 silent film, Red Love . RKO borrowed Charlie Ruggles from Paramount. According to a Mar FD news item, Nelson Eddy gave up the lead in the film to resume a concert tour. Wera Engels was announced in early Feb 1933 as the female lead, but apparently was dissatisfied with the part and left RKO in late Mar 1933, according to FD . Modern sources state that Melody Cruise ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Maiden Voyage and Maiden Cruise . Melody Cruise was the first sound feature film directed by Mark Sandrich. According to modern sources, producer Brock convinced his studio superiors to hire Sandrich, who had directed an Academy Award winning RKO 1932 short, "So This Is Harris," and had assisted on RKO's 1932 feature, Hold 'Em Jail , for this production. The NYT review commented extensively on Sandrich's imaginative direction, praising in particular his use of "cinematic stunts" and his "blending of different sounds." One such "stunt," for instance, takes place during the final scene in which "Grace" reads the damning letter. As she starts to read, the image of "Pete" actually shrinks proportionally until he is a speck sitting next to his wife. Reviewers also touted the ballet sequence, which was staged on ice. Brock, who had been head of the short film department, made his feature film debut with this production. Var noted that this film marked vaudeville performer Chick Chandler's "first real screen debut." Prior to Melody Cruise , Chandler appeared in a 1925 silent film, Red Love . RKO borrowed Charlie Ruggles from Paramount. According to a Mar FD news item, Nelson Eddy gave up the lead in the film to resume a concert tour. Wera Engels was announced in early Feb 1933 as the female lead, but apparently was dissatisfied with the part and left RKO in late Mar 1933, according to FD . Modern sources state that Melody Cruise was the first film musical to use its songs to advance its plot. Two earlier musicals, Paramount's 1932 film Love Me Tonight , and United Artists' early 1933 production Hallelujah, I'm a Bum , however, used music in a similar fashion. According to modern sources, Melody Cruise was a surprise financial success for RKO. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
2 Feb 33
p. 6.
Film Daily
22 Mar 33
p. 2.
Film Daily
27 Mar 33
p. 4.
Film Daily
16 Jun 33
p. 7.
HF
25 Mar 33
p. 8.
International Photographer
1 May 33
p. 25.
Motion Picture Daily
16 Jun 33
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
3 Jun 33
p. 36.
Motion Picture Herald
24 Jun 33
pp. 23-26.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Jul 33
p. 62.
New York Times
23 Jun 33
p. 15.
Variety
27 Jun 33
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Addl dial
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Settings
FILM EDITORS
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Synchronization and sd eff
Synchronization and sd eff
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff assoc
Spec eff assoc
DANCE
Ballet staged by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Isn't This a Night for Love," "This Is the Hour," "I Met Her at a Party" and "He's Not the Marrying Kind," music and lyrics by Will Jason and Val Burton.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Maiden Cruise
Maiden Voyage
Release Date:
23 June 1933
Production Date:
began late March 1933
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
23 June 1933
Copyright Number:
LP3975
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
74-75
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

After "wintering" in New York, Pasadena businessman Pete Wells prepares for his ocean voyage home by throwing a wild party in his stateroom. While drunk, Pete signs a letter written by his best friend, playboy Alan Chandler, in which his various adulterous affairs are described in detail. Determined to remain a bachelor, Alan has arranged for the letter to be sent to Pete's wife Grace, but has instructed that it not be opened until he marries. The next morning, after the letter has been mailed and the ship is in mid-ocean, Pete discovers Zoe and Vera, two of his party-goers, stranded in his stateroom. To keep the women safely in his cabin, Pete bribes steward Hickey to steal their clothes. He then hires Hickey to discourage the blossoming romance between Alan and German beauty Elsa Von Rader, fearful that it may lead to marriage and, consequently, the opening of the letter. Soon after, Pete runs into a friend of his wife, Miss Potts, a principal who is traveling with teacher Laurie Marlowe. When Pete and Miss Potts encounter the half-dressed Zoe and Vera on the ship's deck, Pete tells her that the young women are his nieces. While Miss Potts and Pete's "nieces" become acquainted, Alan accidentally waltzes into Laurie's stateroom and begins to romance her. Although attracted to the polished playboy, Laurie dismisses him, and he continues his affair with Elsa until the machinations of Hickey bring him back to Laurie. Now concerned about keeping Alan away from Laurie, Hickey arranges for her to see Elsa entering Alan's cabin. Hurt, Laurie snubs Alan when they dock in Los Angeles, unaware that ... +


After "wintering" in New York, Pasadena businessman Pete Wells prepares for his ocean voyage home by throwing a wild party in his stateroom. While drunk, Pete signs a letter written by his best friend, playboy Alan Chandler, in which his various adulterous affairs are described in detail. Determined to remain a bachelor, Alan has arranged for the letter to be sent to Pete's wife Grace, but has instructed that it not be opened until he marries. The next morning, after the letter has been mailed and the ship is in mid-ocean, Pete discovers Zoe and Vera, two of his party-goers, stranded in his stateroom. To keep the women safely in his cabin, Pete bribes steward Hickey to steal their clothes. He then hires Hickey to discourage the blossoming romance between Alan and German beauty Elsa Von Rader, fearful that it may lead to marriage and, consequently, the opening of the letter. Soon after, Pete runs into a friend of his wife, Miss Potts, a principal who is traveling with teacher Laurie Marlowe. When Pete and Miss Potts encounter the half-dressed Zoe and Vera on the ship's deck, Pete tells her that the young women are his nieces. While Miss Potts and Pete's "nieces" become acquainted, Alan accidentally waltzes into Laurie's stateroom and begins to romance her. Although attracted to the polished playboy, Laurie dismisses him, and he continues his affair with Elsa until the machinations of Hickey bring him back to Laurie. Now concerned about keeping Alan away from Laurie, Hickey arranges for her to see Elsa entering Alan's cabin. Hurt, Laurie snubs Alan when they dock in Los Angeles, unaware that he had ended his affair with Elsa. Once home with Grace, Pete and Alan try to retrieve the letter, but she insists on keeping it. Alan then tracks down Laurie as she tours northern California and, after explaining about Pete and the letter, proposes to her. Grace, meanwhile, runs into Miss Potts and learns of Pete's "nieces" and Alan's impending marriage. Although Pete believes that he has burnt the letter, Grace, anticipating Pete's conniving, produces it after Laurie and Alan have left for their honeymoon and begins to read it as Pete shrinks in horror next to her. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.