Evenings for Sale
Cast & Crew
In post-war Vienna, impoverished Count Franz von Degenthal attends a masked ball on the night he plans to kill himself and falls in love with Lela Fischer, who is engaged to the corpulent Otto Volk, her father's employee. Lela's devotion prevents Franz from committing suicide, and he accepts a job as a gigolo at the Cafe Zassania, where his friend, Bimpfl, works as head waiter. The cafe is owned by Franz's former butler, Ritter, who employs former officers of the imperial court. Unaware that Franz is working as a gigolo, Mr. Fischer offers him a job, but he refuses to accept charity. In order to dishonor Franz, Otto leads the Fischers to the cafe, where they find Franz at a table with American widow and millionairess Jenny Kent. Jenny has come to Vienna from the small town of Merryville with grand romantic ideas of meeting someone like Prince Daniello, the hero of her favorite operetta, The Merry Widow . Overwhelmed by Franz's gallantry when he pays for her first bottle of champagne, Jenny engages him for a tour of Vienna, oblivious to his occupation. A month later, Otto and Lela are officially engaged when he takes her to the public auction at the von Degenthal castle. While Jenny and Lela outbid each other for a vase that is a priceless family heirloom, Lela says she wants to use it for a wastebasket and von Trask, an Austrian "gentleman," calls her a "swine." In Lela's defense, Franz challenges von Trask to a duel and loses, receiving a shot in the arm. After Jenny purchases the castle to preserve the count's history, Franz finally confesses that he is a gigolo. Touched by Jenny's magnanimity, he gives her the family ring, and Jenny thinks he is proposing to her. Learning of the duel, Lela rushes to the castle, where Franz tells her he is resigned to marry his benefactor. Jenny then receives word that her daughter has had a baby and, realizing the incompatibility of being a bride and a grandmother, decides to turn the castle into an apartment-hotel, with Franz as the proprietor, and return home. Franz then proposes to Lela.
On 30 September 1932, Film Daily reported that a new type of film that was slightly pink, instead of the usual grey, was used for the first time by Harry Fischbeck in Evenings for Sale. The pink film was said to produce perfectly clear whites with all the muddiness and grain absent. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences requested a special print of Evenings for Sale so that its members could view the new pink film. "The Blue Danube Waltz" plays as the opening credits roll.