Metropolitan


1h 20m 1935

Brief Synopsis

Opera prima donna leaves the Metropolitan to form her own company with Tibbett as leading man. She leaves this company too which means Tibbett and company must carry on without her.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Diamond Horseshoe
Release Date
Nov 8, 1935
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Oct 1935
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,685ft (10 reels)

Synopsis

As she attempts unsuccessfully to repair her stalled car sixteen miles outside of New York City, Anne Merrill switches the car radio from a cowboy song to opera and begins to sing along. Thomas Renwick, carrying fishing gear nearby, joins her in song and offers to help with the car. After he reveals that he sings with the Metropolitan Opera, he catches his bus still carrying Anne's wrench. She then discovers that he left his fishing bag with one small fish inside. While watching a performance at the Met, Anne spies Tom through her binoculars nearly hidden among the background singers. When her escort, Niki Baroni, whose proposals she has refused because she wants to have a singing career, learns of her interest in Tom, who is his friend, he promises to take her to meet him. After the performance, temperamental diva Ghita Galin berates the opera director Moselli for not choosing her for the lead and then threatens to form her own opera company. Although Tom is scheduled to play Amonasro in Aida when the lead cannot go on because of illness, Maselli substitutes a known singer because Tom has no name or reputation. Feeling that he needs to prove himself, Tom quits the Met. That night, Niki brings Anne to Tom's home. In the midst of their conversation, Ghita, who was infatuated with Tom in Naples, calls and says that she wants him as artistic director of her new opera. Tom convinces her to hire as her conductor Papa Perontelli, a former conductor at La Scala whose career went downhill after he quit because he lost his temper and became an alcoholic. In Philadelphia, where Ghita has leased a theater for tryouts, Papa is exasperated because of her tardiness for rehearsals, and Tom is touchy about gossip linking him romantically with Ghita, who has been trying to seduce him. After a run-in with Ghita, Papa is persuaded not to quit by manager Ugo Pizzi, who reminds him how much the performance means to Tom's career. However, when on a whim, Ghita decides to switch from The Barber of Seville to Carmen , Papa walks off and leaves in a cab. Tom and Anne, who is a singer in the show, chase after him, but once they are in the country, they discover that they have followed the wrong cab. After they are inticed to have tea by a couple of children, Tom confesses that he loves Anne, who says she is very happy. Just then, Papa's cab stops, and Tom succeeds in getting him to come back. When Ghita hears Anne sing a beautiful aria, she interrupts and jealously demands that either Anne or she goes. Although Tom tells Anne that he will leave, she convinces him to stay and he kisses her. When Ghita's voice cracks in the midst of an aria, she blames Papa and declares that there will be no opera. Tom talks with the creditors, and he is given until six that night to raise $11,000. When things look hopeless, Anne learns about the situation, and as she writes Tom a check for the amount, she reveals that she is really Anne Merrill Beaconhill of the wealthy Boston family, but that she wanted to make it as a singer on her own. Tom gathers the company together and tells them they will perform Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana , but no one can find Papa. Tom and Anne, who rehearses for the female lead, plan to get married if the show goes well. The rehearsals are very straining for Tom, who feels that they need a genius like Papa to bring the company together. Papa finally returns and on the night of the opening reminds Tom that he must not fail. Despite being near exhaustion, Tom sings magnificently. During the exuberant ovation, after Tom takes his bow, he kisses Anne backstage. She tells him to take another one, whereupon he kisses her again. Although she explains that she meant a bow, Tom kisses her a third time.

Cast

Lawrence Tibbett

Thomas Renwick

Virginia Bruce

Anne Merrill [Beaconhill]

Alice Brady

Ghita Galin

Cesar Romero

Niki Baroni

Thurston Hall

T. Simon Hunter

Luis Alberni

Ugo Pizzi

George Marion Sr.

[Papa] Perontelli

Adrian Rosley

Mr. Tolentino

Christian Rub

Weidel

Franklyn Ardell

Marco

Etienne Girardot

Nello

Jessie Ralph

Charwoman

Ruth Donnelly

Marina

Jane Darwell

Grandma

Walter Brennan

Grandpa

Orrin Burke

Enrico Maselli

Louis Becker

Prompter

William Benedict

Hotel bellboy

Regina Rambeau

Celeste, Ghita's maid

Mary Gordon

Mrs. Tolentino

John Miltern

Bank president

Sarah Edwards

Old dowager

Ernie Alexander

Page boy

Lyons Wickland

Press agent

Lester Dorr

Press agent

Gladys Earlcott

Wardrobe woman

Don Brady

Photographer

Leonard Carey

Boris

Madge Bellamy

Girl in negligee

Rafael Storm

Young man

Max Davidson

Tailor

Tanagra

Specialty dancer

Coleen Sword

Brady understudy

Pauline Guthrie

Frasquita

Ralina Zarova

Mercedes

Richard Powell

Delegate

Alfonso Pedroza

Zungia, Bass singer

Cyril Thornton

Props man

William Wayne

Props man

Tom Herbert

Throat specialist in theatre

Jack Gallagher

Taxi driver

Paul Mcvey

Perontelli's driver

Hector V. Sarno

Italian proprietor

Jessie Arnold

Landlady

Alex Schoenberg

Musician

Olaf Hytten

Male modiste

Lee Phelps

Ghita's chauffeur

Jeannie Roberts

Chorus girl

Violet Axelle

Chorus girl

Patricia Farr

Chorus girl

Don Ostrander

Assistant modiste

Ludovico Tomarchio

Peppe

Ben Hall

Freckled boy

Sam Flint

Director

Eric Alden

Chorus man

Pat O'malley

Usher

Ralph Mccullough

Usher

D'arcy Corrigan

Broken down actor

Edward Keane

Throat specialist

Matty Roubert

Newsboy

Richard (tex) Brodus

Cub reporter

Edward Clayton

Cub reporter

Frederick Murray

Cub reporter

Marilyn Knowlden

Little girl in tea room

Ferdinand Munier

Portly man

Hank Mann

Bartender

Betty Farrington

Wardrobe woman

Adrian Morris

Electrician

Film Details

Also Known As
The Diamond Horseshoe
Release Date
Nov 8, 1935
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Oct 1935
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,685ft (10 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

20th Century Fox's first production (following the merger of 20th Century Pictures and Fox Film Corp).

Notes

The working title of this film was Diamond Horseshoe. It was planned as a production of Twentieth Century before they merged with Fox, and although it was the first production of the new organization, it was the last film Darryl Zanuck produced on the United Artists lot. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, on the first day of shooting, there was no supervisor listed, as Zanuck was handling the film himself. However, in later production charts, William Goetz is credited as associate producer. After the first day of shooting, Rudolph Maté replaced George Schneiderman as first cameraman, according to Hollywood Reporter. New York Times noted that the character of Ghita Galin "seems to be modeled after one of our front-page divas," and that the film aimed "a savage blow at the Metropolitan Opera Association for its treatment of American singers." Lib states that the film cost over one-half million dollars and came at what May have been the tail end of a heavy opera vogue. According to Hollywood Reporter, this was Lawrence Tibbett's screen comeback after three years' absence. In the film, he sang "On the Road to Mandalay," which he was famous for singing in concert and on the radio. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, E. Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen wrote the song "Last Night When We Were Young" for Tibbett and Virginia Bruce to sing in the film. That song, however, was not in the final film.