I Dream Too Much


1h 35m 1935
I Dream Too Much

Brief Synopsis

A composer sets the stage for discord when he pushes his wife into a singing career.

Film Details

Also Known As
Love Song
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Musical
Release Date
Nov 29, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11 reels

Synopsis

While sneaking out of her uncle's house in Southern France, reluctant opera student Annette Manard falls on top of Jonathan Street, an aspiring American composer visiting from Paris, who then escorts her to a carnival. The next morning, Jonathan awakens to discover that, during the previous night's revelry, he married Annette in a drunken stupor. Undaunted by her husband's panic, Annette convinces him to take her to Paris and quickly wins his sincere love.

Soon after, Jonathan overhears Annette singing to a boy on a merry-go-round and encourages her to pursue a singing career. While he works as a tour guide to make financial ends meet, Annette takes a job as a cabaret singer. Frustrated by his inability to sell his opera, Echo and Narcissus , however, the proud Jonathan eventually forces Annette to quit the cabaret. Annette, determined to help Jonathan, takes his opera to theatrical agent Paul Darcy and cajoles him into an audition. Impressed by Annette's singing, Darcy signs her to a generous contract and launches her operatic career, but rejects Jonathan's opera. After Annette's enormously successful debut, Jonathan learns at an opening night party that she has paid a Monte Carlo opera house to produce Echo and Narcissus .

His pride wounded, Jonathan accuses Annette of humiliating him and leaves her. Eventually, a lonely and unhappy Annette finds an equally miserable Jonathan driving a cab in Paris, and the couple renews their marital commitment. Once again, however, Jonathan's pride and envy get the better of him, and he forces Annette to return to her lush life as an opera star. With Darcy's help, Annette reworks Echo and Narcissus into a stage musical and secures a London production. After he is showered with praise, Jonathan accepts his place in the musical world and reunites with Annette, who eagerly quits her opera career to become an ordinary wife and mother.

Film Details

Also Known As
Love Song
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Musical
Release Date
Nov 29, 1935
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11 reels

Award Nominations

Best Sound Editing

1936

Articles

I Dream Too Much


I Dream Too Much (1935) is memorable as the first of only three films in which the coloratura soprano Lily Pons would appear. Pons, who had been an overnight success at the Metropolitan opera in 1931 (and was credited with saving the Met during the Great Depression), was hired by RKO as their answer to Paramount's films starring another opera star, Grace Moore, and MGM's films starring Jeanette MacDonald. While Pons never achieved the success that Moore and especially MacDonald enjoyed in the movies, her extraordinary voice made her a star for decades on the stage, radio and television. She was the first soprano who could hit the high F note that composer Delibes used in his opera Lakme and she could hold a high D for nearly a minute.

. For the music, producer Pandro Berman hired the legendary Jerome Kern at what was in 1935 an impressive salary. Gerald Bordman wrote in his biography of Kern, "[Kern] accepted a new offer to write music for opera star Lily Pons' film debut. Kern apparently stipulated that Dorothy Fields serve as lyricist. Accordingly, Pandro Berman wired her in New York on May 28 offering her the Kern assignment at $1000 a week. Because she had to begin her collaboration by June 5, Berman provided air fare. Dorothy accepted with alacrity. Kern signed on June 3...The composer was to be paid $5000 per week for four weeks. If additional work were necessary Kern would be available for a fifth week at no compensation, but thereafter any further weeks would again be at the rate of $5000 each." Although the famed film composer Max Steiner (who would become a fixture at Warner Brothers later in the decade) thought he was to do the orchestration, Kern wanted Robert Russell Bennett. As Bordman wrote, "Poor Steiner received a second slap when as star of Love Song [the film's original working title], Lily Pons demanded that Andre Kostelanetz [who Pons would be married to from 1938-58] conduct the operatic arias she was to sing in the picture."

To star as Pons' husband, RKO borrowed the up-and-coming Henry Fonda from Walter Wanger's production company and in a small part, one of their newest bit-players, a then-platinum blonde named Lucille Ball. As Kathleen Brady wrote in her biography of Lucille Ball, Lucille , "Lucille replaced Betty Grable, an eighteen-year-old stock player who had also been on the Goldwyn lot [Ball had previously worked at the Goldwyn studios], in the minor role of Gwendolyn Dilley, a bleached-blonde gum-chewer visiting Paris with her parents and little brother. Her one line was: "Culture is making my feet hurt", a gem that she delivered with conviction."

Ball may have been a bit player in this film, but right before filming began, she briefly dated the star of I Dream Too Much , Henry Fonda. Ball later remembered that particular night, which was a double-date with Ginger Rogers and Jimmy Stewart, "We worked long and hard, Ginger and I, in front of our mirrors. We used eye shadow, plenty of mascara, pancake [makeup], deep red lipstick, rouge, everything we'd been taught in the studio cosmetic department. Then we went out to Brentwood, that's where the boys lived. My date was Fonda. Ginger's date was [Jimmy] Stewart. Henry cooked the dinner, and after we ate, Ginger and the boys turned on the radio in the living room and Ginger tried to teach them the carioca. I was left doing the dishes. When I finished, we went out dancing at the Coconut Grove. Freddie Martin's orchestra. There we were, Ginger and I in our long organdy dresses, looking just as summery and smooth as we could. The date stretched into daybreak. We'd had a hilarious, wonderful evening that came to an end at Barney's Beanery which still exists where Santa Monica [Boulevard] twists and goes east into North Hollywood. Well, it was dark and we went in and light when we came out. Hank and Jim took one look at us and said, 'What happened?' We said, 'What do you mean what happened?' And Jimmy Stewart said, 'Well, your nighttime makeup is on awful heavy for this time of the morning.' And Henry Fonda said, 'Yuk!'". Fonda, in retrospect, has his own thoughts. "Shit!" he says, "if I hadn't said, 'Yuk!' If I'd behaved myself, they might have named that studio Henrylu not Desilu." Twenty-one years after I Dream Too Much , "bit player" Lucille Ball bought RKO with her husband Desi Arnaz, and renamed it Desilu. When the couple divorced in the 1960's, Ball bought out Arnaz and became the first woman to run a major studio.

Producer: Pandro S. Berman
Director: John Cromwell
Screenplay: Elsie Finn (story), David G. Wittels (story), Edmund North
Cinematography: David Abel
Film Editing: William Morgan
Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase
Music: Max Steiner
Cast: Lily Pons (Annette Monard Street), Henry Fonda (Jonathan Street), Eric Blore (Roger Briggs), Osgood Perkins (Paul Darcy), Lucien Littlefield (Hubert Dilley), Lucille Ball (Gwendolyn Dilley).
BW-97m. Closed captioning.

by Lorraine LoBianco

SOURCES:

Fonda: My Life by Henry Fonda

Jerome Kern by Gerald Bordman

Lucille by Kathleen Brady

Wikipedia.org

The Internet Movie Database
I Dream Too Much

I Dream Too Much

I Dream Too Much (1935) is memorable as the first of only three films in which the coloratura soprano Lily Pons would appear. Pons, who had been an overnight success at the Metropolitan opera in 1931 (and was credited with saving the Met during the Great Depression), was hired by RKO as their answer to Paramount's films starring another opera star, Grace Moore, and MGM's films starring Jeanette MacDonald. While Pons never achieved the success that Moore and especially MacDonald enjoyed in the movies, her extraordinary voice made her a star for decades on the stage, radio and television. She was the first soprano who could hit the high F note that composer Delibes used in his opera Lakme and she could hold a high D for nearly a minute. . For the music, producer Pandro Berman hired the legendary Jerome Kern at what was in 1935 an impressive salary. Gerald Bordman wrote in his biography of Kern, "[Kern] accepted a new offer to write music for opera star Lily Pons' film debut. Kern apparently stipulated that Dorothy Fields serve as lyricist. Accordingly, Pandro Berman wired her in New York on May 28 offering her the Kern assignment at $1000 a week. Because she had to begin her collaboration by June 5, Berman provided air fare. Dorothy accepted with alacrity. Kern signed on June 3...The composer was to be paid $5000 per week for four weeks. If additional work were necessary Kern would be available for a fifth week at no compensation, but thereafter any further weeks would again be at the rate of $5000 each." Although the famed film composer Max Steiner (who would become a fixture at Warner Brothers later in the decade) thought he was to do the orchestration, Kern wanted Robert Russell Bennett. As Bordman wrote, "Poor Steiner received a second slap when as star of Love Song [the film's original working title], Lily Pons demanded that Andre Kostelanetz [who Pons would be married to from 1938-58] conduct the operatic arias she was to sing in the picture." To star as Pons' husband, RKO borrowed the up-and-coming Henry Fonda from Walter Wanger's production company and in a small part, one of their newest bit-players, a then-platinum blonde named Lucille Ball. As Kathleen Brady wrote in her biography of Lucille Ball, Lucille , "Lucille replaced Betty Grable, an eighteen-year-old stock player who had also been on the Goldwyn lot [Ball had previously worked at the Goldwyn studios], in the minor role of Gwendolyn Dilley, a bleached-blonde gum-chewer visiting Paris with her parents and little brother. Her one line was: "Culture is making my feet hurt", a gem that she delivered with conviction." Ball may have been a bit player in this film, but right before filming began, she briefly dated the star of I Dream Too Much , Henry Fonda. Ball later remembered that particular night, which was a double-date with Ginger Rogers and Jimmy Stewart, "We worked long and hard, Ginger and I, in front of our mirrors. We used eye shadow, plenty of mascara, pancake [makeup], deep red lipstick, rouge, everything we'd been taught in the studio cosmetic department. Then we went out to Brentwood, that's where the boys lived. My date was Fonda. Ginger's date was [Jimmy] Stewart. Henry cooked the dinner, and after we ate, Ginger and the boys turned on the radio in the living room and Ginger tried to teach them the carioca. I was left doing the dishes. When I finished, we went out dancing at the Coconut Grove. Freddie Martin's orchestra. There we were, Ginger and I in our long organdy dresses, looking just as summery and smooth as we could. The date stretched into daybreak. We'd had a hilarious, wonderful evening that came to an end at Barney's Beanery which still exists where Santa Monica [Boulevard] twists and goes east into North Hollywood. Well, it was dark and we went in and light when we came out. Hank and Jim took one look at us and said, 'What happened?' We said, 'What do you mean what happened?' And Jimmy Stewart said, 'Well, your nighttime makeup is on awful heavy for this time of the morning.' And Henry Fonda said, 'Yuk!'". Fonda, in retrospect, has his own thoughts. "Shit!" he says, "if I hadn't said, 'Yuk!' If I'd behaved myself, they might have named that studio Henrylu not Desilu." Twenty-one years after I Dream Too Much , "bit player" Lucille Ball bought RKO with her husband Desi Arnaz, and renamed it Desilu. When the couple divorced in the 1960's, Ball bought out Arnaz and became the first woman to run a major studio. Producer: Pandro S. Berman Director: John Cromwell Screenplay: Elsie Finn (story), David G. Wittels (story), Edmund North Cinematography: David Abel Film Editing: William Morgan Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase Music: Max Steiner Cast: Lily Pons (Annette Monard Street), Henry Fonda (Jonathan Street), Eric Blore (Roger Briggs), Osgood Perkins (Paul Darcy), Lucien Littlefield (Hubert Dilley), Lucille Ball (Gwendolyn Dilley). BW-97m. Closed captioning. by Lorraine LoBianco SOURCES: Fonda: My Life by Henry Fonda Jerome Kern by Gerald Bordman Lucille by Kathleen Brady Wikipedia.org The Internet Movie Database

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Love Song. Lily Pons made her screen debut in the picture. According to the Motion Picture Herald review, the film, which ran 95 minutes in a preview screening, was to be cut. Post-release reviews and the copyright entry differ significantly on the films' length, however, and it is unclear whether RKO ever made the projected cuts. RKO borrowed Henry Fonda from Walter Wanger's production company for the film. According to one review, the lyrics for "I'm the Echo" were taken from a poem by Dorothy Fields. Hollywood Reporter production charts add Betty Grable, Reginald Barlow, Paul Irving, Oscar Apfel, Kay Sutton, Billy Gilbert, Henry Hanna, Dewey Robinson, Edgar Norton, Ferdinand Gottschalk, De Witt Jennings and Jane Hamilton to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Natale Carossio, the stage manager of the San Francisco Opera Company, was assigned to "assist" in the filming of this picture. The exact nature of his contribution has not been determined. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the sound recording category.
       A biography of Jerome Kern gives the following production information: When Kern agreed to write music for the film, he demanded that Fields be his lyricist and then demanded that Robert Russell Bennett orchestrate his music instead of RKO music director Max Steiner. Pons, in turn, insisted that Andre Kostelanetz conduct her operatic arias. (Pons and Kostelanetz were married from 1938-1958). Kern was paid $5,000 per week by RKO, while Fields earned $1,000 per week. On September 18, 1935, producer Pandro Berman wired Kern that he was changing the title from Love Song to I Dream Too Much in order to exploit what Berman believed was to be the film's hit song. Berman encouraged Kern to promote the song as much as possible prior to the film's opening. In his autobiographical writings, Oscar Levant states that he helped out on some "technical details" on this film as an outgrowth of his "hero-worship" for Kern.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1935

Released in United States on Video September 27, 1989

Released in United States 1935

Released in United States on Video September 27, 1989