Sweet Adeline

As a production Sweet Adeline is in the big-time musical class, but strictly on merit it rates no better than fair. Except for the fact that the girl leaves her father's Hoboken beer garden to go on the stage against parental objections, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, who wrote the [1929] stage original, wouldn't know their Addie any more. She's not a very convincing or interesting person as rebuilt in Erwin S. Gelsey's adaptation.

With:
Irene Dunne Donald Woods Hugh Herbert Ned Sparks Joseph Cawthorn Winifred Shaw

As a production Sweet Adeline is in the big-time musical class, but strictly on merit it rates no better than fair. Except for the fact that the girl leaves her father’s Hoboken beer garden to go on the stage against parental objections, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, who wrote the [1929] stage original, wouldn’t know their Addie any more. She’s not a very convincing or interesting person as rebuilt in Erwin S. Gelsey’s adaptation.

Adeline (Irene Dunne) and Sid (Donald Woods) have a love spat over some unknown issue early in the picture and spend more than an hour of footage scowling at each other. When they stop scowling the picture is over.

That he’s got to smirk most of the time makes it tough for Woods, who is no singer. There are two male voices in the show, but neither pertinent to the story. Noah Beery, hardly recognizable behind whiskers while doing a basso in the rehearsal scene, and Phil Regan, leading two production numbers. Dunne, in fine voice, is comely as Adeline, and effective, also, despite that she’s not suited to torch songs.

‘Here Am I’ and ‘Why Was I Born?’ are retained from the original score, but the music otherwise is mostly new.

Sweet Adeline

Production: Warner. Director Mervyn LeRoy; Producer Edward Chodorov; Screenplay Erwin S. Gelsey; Camera Sol Polito; Editor Harold McLernon; Music Leo Forbstein (dir.); Art Director Robert Haas

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1935. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: Irene Dunne Donald Woods Hugh Herbert Ned Sparks Joseph Cawthorn Winifred Shaw

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