Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The 1932 Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein Broadway hit Music in the Air was brought to the screen two years later by Fox Studios. Temperamental Bavarian prima donna Frieda (Gloria Swanson) and equally volatile lyricist Bruno (John Boles) spend half their time quarrelling and the other half making love. To arouse each other's jealousy, Frieda and Bruno pair off respectively with music teacher Lessing's (Al Shean) virginal daughter Sieglinde (June Lang) and her schoolmaster fiancee Karl (Douglass Montgomery). The impressionable young couple respond to the attentions heaped upon them until they realize they're being used, whereupon the tables are turned upon the main characters. Though boasting such lilting tunes as "The Song is You" and "I've Told Every Evening Star" and the stylish direction of Joe May (perhaps his best American film), audiences didn't respond to Music in the Air; as a result, star Gloria Swanson vowed for the millionth time to "permanently" retire from pictures, a promise she kept to herself for a whole seven years. Incidentally, one of the screenwriters of Music in the Air was Billy Wilder, who later co-wrote and directed Swanson's 1949 "comeback" feature Sunset Boulevard.
love, strife, music, opera, songwriter