Champagne Waltz (1937)

Genres - Comedy, Musical, Romance  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Another of Paramount's efforts to transform Metropolitan Opera diva Gladys Swarthout into a popular movie star, Champagne Waltz casts Swarthout as Elsa Strauss, the daughter of a celebrated Viennese composer (Fritz Leiber). American bandleader Buzzy Bellew (Fred MacMurray) and his aggregation invade Vienna with their own special repertoire of melodies, and before long the Austrian capital has abandoned waltzes in favor of jazz. With her family's waltz palace in danger of going out of business, Elsa heads next door to Buzzy's establishment, hoping to persuade him to pack up and go home. Not unexpectedly, the two fall in love (he even teaches her the art of chewing gum), leading to a harmonious "marriage" of musical genres (intended as the film's highlight, this climactic scene was mercilessly raked over the coals by the movie critics of the era). Jack Oakie's performance as Happy Gallagher does much to lift this predictable tune fest from the ordinary.

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Keywords

bandleader, composer, daughter, love, jazz, waltz