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Here's to Romance

Here's to Romance(1935)

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The working title of this film was Melody of Life. Opera singers Nino Martini and Mme. Ernestine Schumann-Heink had their film debuts in this picture. According to a New York Times article, the representatives of Mme. Schumann-Heink attempted for the previous ten years to interest the studios in using her in a film based on her life. Because the applause for her at the preview of this film was so great, producer Jesse L. Lasky agreed to make a film based on her life, but after his announcement of intent, M-G-M issued a statement that they signed her for the same type of film. Aboard ship when he heard of Metro's plans, Lasky radioed that he would protest to the Hays Office M-G-M's "unethical action." Ultimately, Mme. Schumann-Heink died the next year, and no film was made of her life. In his autobiography, Lasky said of her, "She was the most spiritual, courageous, wonderful character I've ever met in show business." Lasky also related that the film was being prepared without a star until he heard Martini singing over his car radio. Lasky had auditioned Martini several years earlier in Paris and signed him when he came to Paramount in Hollywood, but Martini was dropped at the first option because parts could not be found worthy of his talent. A number of reviewers commented on the similarity between this film and earlier ones of Grace Moore. According to a news item, Martini popularized the song "I Carry You in My Pocket" over the radio during the season before this film was released, and Brahms' "Lullaby," which Mme. Schumann-Heink sings, was a favorite of hers. Information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library indicates that in versions of this film distributed outside of the U.S., the arias from Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci were replaced by the songs "Il Principe de Firenze Serenade," music by Louis E. DeFrancesco, lyrics by Miguel Sandoval, and "Delusione," music and lyrics by Miguel Sandoval. According to a news item, a $1,000,000 suit was filed against Twentieth Century-Fox, Movietone Music Corp., Sam Fox Publishing Co., Con Conrad, Herb Magidson and Nino Martini by litigants claiming that the song "Midnight in Paris" was a plagiarism of "Passa L'Amore." Information regarding the result of the suit has not been located.