Naughty But Nice (1939)

Genres - Musical  |   Release Date - Jun 1, 1939 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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It's Swing Music vs. the Classics in the easy-to-take Warners tunefest Naughty But Nice. Dick Powell dons the obligatory spectacles as a staid music professor Hardwick, who harbors a desire to become a songwriter. With the help of aspiring lyricist Linda McKay (Gale Page), Hardwick pens a little ditty that, through a fluke, becomes a smash hit. Not entirely prepared for show-business success, Hardwick falls into the clutches of predatory vocalist Zelda Manion (Ann Sheridan), leaving poor Linda in the lurch-at least until the last reel. Ronald Reagan breezes through one of his then-typical wiseguy supporting roles, while ZaSu Pitts, Vera Lewis and Elizabeth Dunne are likewise typecast as Hardwick's maiden aunts (conversely, the Professor's other aunt, played by Helen Broderick, is a real hep-cat). Virtually all the Harry Warren/Johnny Mercer songs in Naughty But Nice have been adapted from the works of such past masters as Mozart, Bach and Wagner-and old device, but one which works beautifully here.

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Keywords

affection, aspiration, big-city, college, complications, composer, group, love-triangle, music, personality, professor, songwriter, stars [celebrities]