Casanova in Burlesque


1h 14m 1944

Film Details

Also Known As
The Return of Casanova
Release Date
Feb 19, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

The distinguished Shakespearean professor of Wequot College, Joseph L. Kelly, Jr., spends his summers working as a burlesque performer named Casanova Brown. His father, Joe, Sr., who is a well-known vaudevillian, is annoyed by the arrangement, as he wishes that his son would follow in his footsteps and perform full-time. On the evening of Joe's last burlesque performance before he returns to the world of academia, the disappointed Joe, Sr. reveals Joe's secret double life to stripper Lillian Colman. The ambitious Lil plans to use the information for her own gain, and bides her time while thinking of a scheme. Joe returns to Wequot, where he is assigned to direct the college's annual drama festival and told that Lucille Compton, the school's most generous patron, wishes to be starred in a Shakespeare play. Joe decides to stage Romeo and Juliet , with Lucille taking a small role, but her terrible acting drives him to distraction. Joe's problems increase with the arrival of Lil, who demands that he add her to his show, for she hopes that a job as a legitimate actress will further her career. Lil threatens to reveal Joe's life in burlesque if he does not cooperate, and he is forced to cast her as Juliet. Her amateurish acting drives away the other actors, however, who refuse to appear in the play if Lil remains. Joe confesses his problems to Barbara, Lucille's pretty niece, and she tries to comfort him. At a party thrown by the Comptons, snobbish actor J. Boggs-Robinson gets Joe drunk, and when Lucille insists that Joe invite his father, who she mistakenly thinks is a renowned Shakespearean actor, to join the cast, he calls the burlesque company. The next day, a hung-over Joe is frantically trying to cope with Lil, who again threatens to reveal his summer pasttime if he does not provide her with a cast for the play. He does take time to enjoy a swing number performed by Barbara, which is also applauded by the newly arrived burlesque company. Joe is astonished to see them, but they tell him that the previous night, while he was drunk, he offered them parts in his play. Joe is bemoaning his fate when Barbara suggests that they perform a swing version of Shakespeare. The company immediately takes to the idea and Joe is persuaded that it is the only way to take advantage of their skills and keep Lil happy. In order to distract Lucille from the new rehearsals, Joe impersonates his father and, pretending to be a haughty actor, puts her through a series of daily acting workouts. He succeeds in straining her voice to the point where she can barely talk on opening night, and her ne'er-do-well brother John, who is infatuated with Lil, helps get Lucille out of the way by slipping her a "mickey." The company then performs its swing version of The Taming of the Shrew to a very appreciative audience, and even a recovered Lucille is won over by the energetic performances. As applause fills the theater, Joe and Lil assure each other that there are no hard feelings, and Joe looks forward to a romantic future with Barbara.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Return of Casanova
Release Date
Feb 19, 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Republic Pictures Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 14m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Return of Casanova. According to early September 1943 Hollywood Reporter news items, Ray McCarey was originally considered to direct the picture. Although Hollywood Reporter production charts include Andrew Tombes in the cast, he does not appear in the completed film. According to information in the MPPA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the PCA rejected an August 18, 1943 version of the script due to "innumerable vulgar and sex suggestive situations and dialogue." A later screenplay was approved, however. Although the name "Casanova Brown" was also used for the title character in the 1944 RKO production Casanova Brown, the two films are unrelated.