Love and Hisses


1h 24m 1937

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 31, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,609ft (10 reels)

Synopsis

At Lindy's Restaurant in New York, bandleader Ben Bernie asks gossip columnist Walter Winchell, with whom he has a mock public feud, to give a boost to "Eugenie," his new singer from Europe, and Winchell invites Bernie to his broadcast. After Bernie tricks Winchell into signing for the check, Winchell, during his broadcast, calls Eugenie a phony, and Bernie kicks in a bass drum as he leaves in a huff. Later, at Winchell's office, Count Pierre Rauol Guerin, an attaché from the French Embassy in Washington, beseeches Winchell to help him find his daughter Yvette, who left home three weeks earlier to pursue a career on Broadway. Winchell agrees and they find Yvette at Bernie's chorus call at the Club Casino. Winchell is very impressed with Yvette's voice, and after Bernie says that he is not interested in her, Winchell vows to make her a star, despite her father's misgivings. After Winchell leaves excitedly, Bernie, Guerin and Yvette express delight that the first part of their scheme to publicly embarrass Winchell has succeeded: Yvette is really Eugenie, and they plan to announce this after Winchell has made her a star. At Lindy's, busboy Steve Norton, from Boise, Idaho, gives Bernie the sheet music to a song he has written. Bernie agrees to look at it, but when the maitre d' fires Steve for bothering the customers, Steve believes that Bernie "snitched" on him. Meanwhile, Winchell gives Yvette a new name, "Yvette Yvette," which Yvette says sounds silly. After Winchell arranges for Yvette to audition at the Manila Club, Bernie tells her to learn Steve's song. Steve, who has gotten a job as an elevator operator at the hotel where Yvette is staying, hears her hum the song and when he finds out that she got it from Bernie, he finds Bernie and slugs him in the eye. Later, Steve apologizes to Yvette and, after playing other songs he has written, kisses her. At the audition, the club owner, who is in collusion with Bernie, rejects Yvette. Bernie then broadcasts news of the rejection over his radio program, and Winchell vows to put Yvette on his own show over a national hookup. Bernie plans to open his own club with Yvette the night after she sings on Winchell's show and publicly embarrass Winchell by announcing her real identity as the singer Winchell panned. On the night of her performance, when Steve becomes upset that Bernie has been sending Yvette flowers, she explains the ruse to him, but he remains perturbed and vows to leave for home that night. Yvette tells Bernie that she will go to Boise with Steve, but when Bernie promises to hire him to write songs, she agrees to continue with the plan. Bernie explains the situation to Steve and convinces him not to see Yvette until after the show the next evening. Upset that Steve has not come to see her, Yvette confides in Winchell, who then acknowledges defeat to Bernie. Just then, Winchell's secretary Joan reports that the mob has abducted Yvette. Winchell gets a call to bring $50,000 to a secluded country spot. Winchell and Bernie arrive there, and when Winchell explains that he couldn't get the money in time, Bernie is held hostage, while Winchell is given until eleven that night to bring the money. After Bernie is blindfolded, Winchell makes plans with the mobsters, with whom he has been in cahoots all along, to carry out a trick to get even with Bernie. That night, the mobsters tell Bernie that they have learned that Winchell has tipped off the cops, and they discuss how they will now kill Bernie. At the Manila Club, Winchell tells the audience that they will soon witness the greatest death scene since Camille. Followed by a spotlight, Bernie, still blindfolded, is led onstage. On a national radio hookup, Winchell says that he has the money, but one of the mobsters accuses Winchell of bringing the cops and tells the other to let Bernie have it. A shot is fired into the air, and Bernie falls amid gales of laughter. He then removes his blindfold and accepts the gag. Yvette is introduced, and during her song, she sees Steve, who has come with flowers. He then joins her, Winchell and Bernie onstage as they sing his song.

Film Details

Release Date
Dec 31, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,609ft (10 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to New York Times, Simone Simon requested that she be allowed to sing in this film and selected for her sound test "The Bell Song" from the opera Lakmé, which New York Times characterized as "a piece so difficult that few operatic stars have been able to sing it." The article states that Simon, who studied voice in France, sung the hardest passages without difficulty. A Hollywood Reporter news item stated that the studio purchased the song "Woof" by Norman Zeno and Will Irwin for this film; Bert Lahr, who sang the song (which was renamed "The Wolf Song") in the film had previously sung it in the Broadway production of The Show Is On. According to New York Times, Dick Baldwin's performance in his first film, Life Begins at College, won him his role in this film. Variety reported that Ben Bernie took acting lessons from the Theatre Guild's Philip Loeb to prepare for this film. According to New York Times, writer Art Arthur used to be a Broadway columnist. The two fictional reporters in the film, "Sidney Hoffman" and "Irving Skolsky," apparently were named for gossip columnists Sidney Skolsky and Irving Hoffman. Wally Vernon is listed as a cast member in a Hollywood Reporter production chart, but his participation in the final film is doubtful. Warren Mace is credited as a cast member in publicity for the film, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed.