×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

No, No, Nanette

Musical comedies rarely have much story. That's all right. No one expects them to. Plot is compensated for in a hit tune show by good music. That's an elementary show business lesson taught in a class that producer Herbert Wilcox must have skipped. In making a film version of the 1925 Broadway hit [by Frank Mandel, Otto Harbach, Vincent Youmans and Emil Nyltray], Wilcox saves all the book but very little of the music. 'Tea for Two' and 'I Want to Be Happy', as well as the title tune, 'No, No, Nanette' have been reduced to virtually incidental music.

With:
Anna Neagle Richard Carlson Victor Mature Roland Young Helen Broderick ZaSu Pitts

Musical comedies rarely have much story. That’s all right. No one expects them to. Plot is compensated for in a hit tune show by good music. That’s an elementary show business lesson taught in a class that producer Herbert Wilcox must have skipped. In making a film version of the 1925 Broadway hit [by Frank Mandel, Otto Harbach, Vincent Youmans and Emil Nyltray], Wilcox saves all the book but very little of the music. ‘Tea for Two’ and ‘I Want to Be Happy’, as well as the title tune, ‘No, No, Nanette’ have been reduced to virtually incidental music.

Even at that, Wilcox has been fortunate. Nanette has a pretty good plot as musical comedy plots go. He has erred, however, in complicating it instead of simplifying it, as was needed. Wilcox has been lavish, however, in instilling production values in Nanette and there’s no denying, despite their age, the lilt of the Vincent Youmans tunes.

Anna Neagle, as the little Miss Fiix-It who sparks the film, is passable. Roland Young, with accustomed facility, tops the cast-appeal. Runners-up are Helen Broderick and ZaSu Pitts, which makes it clear that all the honors go to the older generation. Neagle and the youngsters, Richard Carlson, Victor Mature and Eve Arden, show to no advantage against such a trio of comedy vets.

Yarn finds Young a gay oldster with a penchant for making people happy, particularly pretty girls, by promising them help to get ahead in their fields. Neagle as Young’s niece, sets about getting each of the femmes the things she wants, thus keeping from Young’s wife the sordid details. Mature is a theatrical producer and Carlson an artist. Nanette works on each to take the trouble-making females under their wings and save the family honor.

No, No, Nanette

Production: Suffolk/RKO Radio. Director Herbert Wilcox; Producer Herbert Wilcox; Screenplay Ken Englund; Camera Russell Metty; Editor Elmo Williams; Music Vincent Youmans

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: Anna Neagle Richard Carlson Victor Mature Roland Young Helen Broderick ZaSu Pitts

More Film

  • Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in

    Film Review: 'Vice'

    From Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, the leaders of right-wing Republican politics have tended to be fire-breathers (or, in the case of Reagan, a saber rattler who could make snake oil taste like honey). But Dick Cheney broke that mold. Speaking in soft terse corporate tones, with the precision squint of someone [...]

  • Armie Hammer and Felicity Jones'On the

    Why Armie Hammer Cooked for the Cast of 'On the Basis of Sex'

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to her hometown on Sunday for the New York premiere of “On the Basis of Sex,” a biopic starring Felicity Jones tells the Supreme Court justice’s origin story. The 85-year-old Brooklynite received a standing ovation when she entered the Walter Reade Theater — a testament to the Notorious RBG’s rock-star status. Ginsburg [...]

  • Paul McCartney, Emma Stone Take Aim

    Paul McCartney, Emma Stone Take Aim at Bullying With 'Who Cares' Short

    Paul McCartney and Emma Stone get surreal for a good cause in the short film inspired by McCartney’s new anti-bullying song “Who Cares,” which held its premiere Sunday night at Beverly Hills’ Fine Arts Theater. In the short directed by Brantley Guitierrez (a longtime McCartney tour photographer) and choreographer Ryan Heffington, the music legend and [...]

  • Black Panther Production Design

    Netflix Isn't Killing Movie Theaters, Study Shows

    Netflix isn’t killing movie theaters. At least, that’s the take-away from a new study conducted by EY’s Quantitative Economics and Statistics group, which finds that people who go to movies in theaters more frequently also consume more streaming content. That flies in the face of the “conventional wisdom” of box office sages, who grimly ascribe [...]

  • 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Weaves Inclusive

    The Secret Power of 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Is Inclusion

    In a year that gave us films like “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” this weekend’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” delivers one more home run for underrepresented groups in media in 2018. An animated film that takes advantage of Sony’s piece of the Marvel pie, “Spider-Verse” not only puts a mixed-race, middle-class teenager in the [...]

  • Jeff BridgesJeff Bridges, who stars in

    Jeff Bridges to Receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at 2019 Golden Globes

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced that Jeff Bridges will receive the Cecil B. DeMille award at the 76th Golden Globes on Jan. 6, 2019. Bridges has starred in films like “The Big Lebowski,” “Crazy Heart,” “True Grit,” and “The Fabulous Baker Boys.” “The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is delighted to bestow the 2019 [...]

  • Charlotte Rampling Euphoria

    Berlin Film Festival: Charlotte Rampling to Receive Honorary Golden Bear

    Oscar-nominated actress Charlotte Rampling, whose career has spanned more than 100 film and television roles, will be honored with a special Golden Bear at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. The fest will also pay homage to Rampling by screening a selection of her work, including Sidney Lumet’s “The Verdict” (1982), Francois Ozon’s “Swimming Pool” (2003) [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content