Sweet Music (1935)

sweet music 1935

Good music meets lamer than lame comedy in the story of a dancer and a band leader. There’s lot of music and antics from Rudy Vallee and his Connecticut Yankees and Joseph Cawthorn with Al Shean. It does get on the nerves after a while thanks to Ned Sparks and Allen Jenkins talking a mile a minute.

The movie starts with a really lame routine with the Connecticut Yankees that includes the trombone player imitating an airplane and a train. Skip Houston (Rudy Vallee) comes out and does some crooning. Dancer Bonnie Hayden (Ann Dvorak) hates it that Skip gets top billing in her home town. Skip’s publicity agent Barney Cowan (Allen Jenkins) likes wacky stunts and suggests Skip and Bonnie get married since all know they can’t stand each other. Forget that.

Skip leaves town and heads for New York. Bonnie’s agent,Ten Percent Nelson (Ned Sparks) gets a telegram from the producer of a Broadway show asking for Bonnie. Ten Percent takes the credit but it was Skip who paved the way for her.

Before the opening of the show Barney pays chorus girl Lulu Betts Malone (Alice White) to jump in a lake yelling she loves Skip Houston but he broke her heart. She says her gangster brother Dopey (Robert Armstrong) won’t like it but Barney doesn’t care. She does the stunt stopping the show just as it was getting started and the papers eat it up but the producer has had it and closes the show before it can even open.

The next day Barney brings some reporters to see Skip. Dopey and Lulu are there and he demands Skip marry Lulu and pulls a gun so Skip sees it his way. Skip makes Barney admit it was all a publicity stunt but Dopey isn’t buying t. It ends with Lulu marrying Barney.

Ten Percent tells Bonnie he can get her work and takes her to an audition of the Seltzer Brothers sponsored radio show. This is where a lot of lame comedy starts with Joseph Cawthorn and Al Shen as the battling Seltzer Brothers who own a cigar company. She’s surprised too find out Skip is the main act and has to approve Bonnie. He does. Ten Percent gets jealous when the two fall for each other.

Newspaper reviewers don’t like Bonnie’s singing and Skip asks them to give her a break and they write positive reviews. The show’s audience writes letters to the Seltzer Brothers saying they can’t stand her. Now Skip has to tell her she’s through and that she’s being replaced by Helen Morgan.. He can’t do it. Ten Percent tells her Skip wants to fire her and takes her to a rehearsal to prove it. She sees Helen and despite what Skip says and ends their romance.

Ten Percent gets her an audition with a comedy show. Her partner doesn’t show up and Barney fills in. Lulu is making smart remarks in the background. The sponsors love it. Now Dopey wants to get in on the crooning racket.

No surprise that the movie ends the way all movies like this end. Along the way the Connecticut Yankees do some zany Spike Jones stuff that wears quickly but if you’re interested in Rudy Vallee and why he became so popular you may want to check this one out.

Ann Dvorak-Rudy Vallee

Ann Dvorak-Rudy Vallee




About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
This entry was posted in Comedy, vintage movies, vintage music and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sweet Music (1935)

  1. I’m very much a fan of Rudy Vallee since seeing him in the theater with Bobby Morse in “How to Succeed”. I’ll definitely have to check this out, despite the cautions. (Thanks for those.)

  2. vintage45 says:

    Vallee knew how to make fun of himself. That’s evident on an episode of December Bride…January 23,1956.

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