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Music in the Air

Music in the Air(1934)

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In the Bavarian mountains, schoolteacher Karl Roder is in love with pretty Sieglinde and writes songs with her father, Dr. Walter Lessing. At a town festival, Karl and Walter introduce their new song, which goes over so well with the townsfolk that they give Walter the village funds with which to go to Munich. They hope that Walter will be able to reunite with his old friend, Ernst Weber, now a famous agent and music publisher, and interest Ernst in publishing the song. Karl also goes to Munich with his mountain climbing group, and when he arrives, he goes to Ernst's office, where he meets Frieda Hotzfelt, an opera prima donna, and Bruno Mahler, a libretto writer. Frieda and Bruno enjoy a jealous, volatile relationship, and when Karl arrives, they have just had a fight about whether Frieda will sing in Bruno's new opera. Frieda is taken with handsome Karl, as Bruno is with Sieglinde when she and her father arrive. Ernst agrees to put Walter and Karl's song in the new show, and that afternoon, Bruno and Frieda woo their respective naïve victims. After Bruno and Frieda fight again, Freida refuses to sing in the show then tries to convince Karl to run away with her to Venice. Tired of Frieda's confusing sophistication, Karl sneaks out of her hotel room to find Sieglinde, who tells him that Bruno has arranged for her to take Frieda's place as the opera's prima donna. Karl tries to convince her that Munich is no place for simple folk like them, but Sieglinde assumes that he is disparaging her talent and refuses to leave with him. Weeks later, at a dress rehearsal of the opera, Ernst, Bruno, the conductor, Hans Uppmann, and Kirschner, the director, agree that Sieglinde is simply awful in the role and must be replaced by Frieda, who has secretly been rehearsing with Hans. Karl, who has come back to Munich after missing Sieglinde to the point of distraction, overhears their decision and tries to warn her, but she refuses to believe him and tells him to leave. She is crushed when Hans tells her that she lacks the necessary experience and style, and Walter, too, is severely disappointed when Hans says that, even though Walter's song may remain in the opera, his orchestration will be replaced. They return to their village full of sorrow and shame, but later, when the opera's opening night is broadcast on the radio, the entire village celebrates when they hear Walter's song. Ernst confirms that the song is a big hit, and both couples happily reunite.