Bitter Sweet (1940)

92 or 94 mins | Musical | 8 November 1940

Director:

W. S. Van Dyke

Writer:

Lesser Samuels

Producer:

Victor Saville

Editor:

Harold F. Kress

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

A HR production chart adds Leni Lynn to the cast, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Some of the lyrics in the "Tokay" number were dubbed for Jeanette MacDonald by Ann Harriette Lee, who also instructed MacDonald in French accents and pronunciation for the number. The picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Color Photography. According to news items in HR in early 1932, Paramount Pictures was planning to film a two-strip Technicolor version of the Noel Coward operetta. The picture was planned as a spring or summer production and was to star Jeanette MacDonald. Although that version was never made, in 1933, Herbert Wilcox directed Anna Neagle in a British version of the operetta. Irene Dunne appeared in a Lux Radio Theatre version of the story on 5 Nov ... More Less

A HR production chart adds Leni Lynn to the cast, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Some of the lyrics in the "Tokay" number were dubbed for Jeanette MacDonald by Ann Harriette Lee, who also instructed MacDonald in French accents and pronunciation for the number. The picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Color Photography. According to news items in HR in early 1932, Paramount Pictures was planning to film a two-strip Technicolor version of the Noel Coward operetta. The picture was planned as a spring or summer production and was to star Jeanette MacDonald. Although that version was never made, in 1933, Herbert Wilcox directed Anna Neagle in a British version of the operetta. Irene Dunne appeared in a Lux Radio Theatre version of the story on 5 Nov 1936. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Nov 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
20 Nov 40
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 32
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Feb 32
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Jul 40
pp. 8-9.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 40
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 40
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
18 Nov 40
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Nov 40
p. 41.
New York Times
22 Nov 40
p. 27.
Variety
20 Nov 40
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Alexander Pollard
Paul E. Burns
Jean DeBriac
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
Men's cost
MUSIC
Musical presentation
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Makeup
STAND INS
Singing voice double for Jeanette MacDonald in "To
Vocal stand-in for Jeanette MacDonald
Vocal stand-in for Nelson Eddy
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor dir
Assoc
Technicolor photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the operetta Bitter Sweet by Noël Coward (London, 18 Jul 1929).
AUTHOR
SONGS
Selections from the opera La Bohéme , music by Giacomo Puccini, libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
"Zigeuner," "I'll See You Again," "Love in Any Language," "What Is Love," "Kiss Me," "If You Could Only Come With Me," "The Call of Life," "Tokay," "Serenade in Vienna," "Polka," "Bonne Nuit Merci" and "If Love Were All," words and music by Noël Coward
"Ladies of the Town," words and music by Noël Coward and Gus Kahn
+
SONGS
Selections from the opera La Bohéme , music by Giacomo Puccini, libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
"Zigeuner," "I'll See You Again," "Love in Any Language," "What Is Love," "Kiss Me," "If You Could Only Come With Me," "The Call of Life," "Tokay," "Serenade in Vienna," "Polka," "Bonne Nuit Merci" and "If Love Were All," words and music by Noël Coward
"Ladies of the Town," words and music by Noël Coward and Gus Kahn
"Dear Little Cafe," music by Noël Coward, additional lyrics by Noël Coward and Gus Kahn
"Una voce poco fabarber," words and music by Gioacchino Antonio Rossini.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 November 1940
Production Date:
mid July--early September 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
14 November 1940
Copyright Number:
LP10114
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
92 or 94
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6648
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the late Nineteenth century, on the evening of her engagement party to stodgy Harry Daventry, Sarah Millick foresakes her fiancé for the love of her Viennese music teacher, Carl Linden. After eloping to Vienna, the newlyweds take up residence in Carl's garret, and are welcomed by his friends Max, Ernst and Mama Luden. Sarah inspires Carl to complete the operetta that he is composing, but when he is unable to sell his work, the couple suffer financial hardships. They are at their most desperate when Sarah convinces a local grocer to let her give his daughter singing lessons, but is fired a few minutes later when Carl tries to convince the grocer to hire him to do the job. When the grocer angrily orders them both out, they return to their flat. Their fortunes start to change when Max and Ernst pawn a piece of their furniture to buy some meat and bread, after which the group decides to become street musicians. One afternoon, as they are performing on the streets of Baden, Sarah attracts the attention of Lord Shayne, as well as the lecherous Baron von Tranisch, who gets her a job at Schlick's Cafe. At the cafe, Sarah learns that the Baron is her benefactor when he comes to claim his reward, and she quits her job. She returns to sing, however, when Lord Shayne brings impressario Herr Wyler to hear Carl's operetta. As Sarah performs for Herr Wyler, the drunken Baron accosts her. To defend his wife's honor, Carl fights a duel in which he dies at the Baron's sword. Although Carl dies, he lives ... +


In the late Nineteenth century, on the evening of her engagement party to stodgy Harry Daventry, Sarah Millick foresakes her fiancé for the love of her Viennese music teacher, Carl Linden. After eloping to Vienna, the newlyweds take up residence in Carl's garret, and are welcomed by his friends Max, Ernst and Mama Luden. Sarah inspires Carl to complete the operetta that he is composing, but when he is unable to sell his work, the couple suffer financial hardships. They are at their most desperate when Sarah convinces a local grocer to let her give his daughter singing lessons, but is fired a few minutes later when Carl tries to convince the grocer to hire him to do the job. When the grocer angrily orders them both out, they return to their flat. Their fortunes start to change when Max and Ernst pawn a piece of their furniture to buy some meat and bread, after which the group decides to become street musicians. One afternoon, as they are performing on the streets of Baden, Sarah attracts the attention of Lord Shayne, as well as the lecherous Baron von Tranisch, who gets her a job at Schlick's Cafe. At the cafe, Sarah learns that the Baron is her benefactor when he comes to claim his reward, and she quits her job. She returns to sing, however, when Lord Shayne brings impressario Herr Wyler to hear Carl's operetta. As Sarah performs for Herr Wyler, the drunken Baron accosts her. To defend his wife's honor, Carl fights a duel in which he dies at the Baron's sword. Although Carl dies, he lives on in his music when Herr Wyler agrees to stage his operetta, and Sarah remains in Vienna to star in the production. After the premiere of the opera, Sarah returns to their flat and, knowing that Carl is not dead as long as his music continues, sings to him as she gazes across the Vienese sky +

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

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