Review: ‘Bitter Sweet’

Bitter Sweet is a super-elaborate production providing a background for the fetching Noel Coward songs, in his highly successful operetta, delivered by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.

Bitter Sweet is a super-elaborate production providing a background for the fetching Noel Coward songs, in his highly successful operetta, delivered by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.

The story development receives minor attention. It’s an obvious and static romance from the time music teacher Eddy elopes with his pupil (MacDonald); takes her to Vienna while he writes an operetta; and his tragic death just as his work is to be presented. The love scenes between the couple are staid and cold, neither providing any warmth to those proceedings which were a vital factor in the original play.

Both MacDonald and Eddy interpret Coward’s numbers in excellent style. All the favorites of the operetta are here, including ‘Zigeuner’, ‘Little Cafe’, ‘Tokay’, and ‘I’ll See You Again’.

Final production number for background of MacDonald’s rendition of ‘Zigeuner’, is most ingeniously contrived, having dancers in copper-brown and white costumes, with background in similar tones.

Bitter Sweet

Production

M-G-M. Director W.S. Van Dyke; Producer Victor Saville; Screenplay Lesser Samuels; Camera Oliver T. Marsh, Allen Davey; Editor Harold F. Kress; Music Noel Coward; Art Director Cedric Gibbons, John S. Detlie

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Jeanette MacDonald Nelson Eddy George Sanders Ian Hunter Felix Bressart
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