Bitter Sweet [8] is a 1940 American Technicolor musical film directed by W. S. Van Dyke, based on the operetta Bitter Sweet by Noël Coward. It was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for Best Cinematography and the other for Best Art Direction by Cedric Gibbons and John S. Detlie.

It was filmed twice, first in 1933 in black-and-white (in Britain, with Anna Neagle and Fernand Gravet in the leading roles). The 1940 film is much cut and rewritten, removing much of the operetta's irony. The opening and closing scenes are cut, focusing the film squarely upon the relationship between MacDonald's character, Sarah, and her music teacher, Carl Linden. The opening scene was a flash forward, in which Sarah appears as an elderly woman recalling how she fell in love. One reason for dropping this scene is that it had been appropriated for MGM's 1937 film Maytime . Coward disliked the 1940 film and vowed that no more of his shows would be filmed in Hollywood. In 1951 he told The Daily Express , "I was saving up Bitter Sweet as an investment for my old age. After MGM's dreadful film I can never revive it" on stage.

Plot

Set in late 19th century Vienna, the story focuses on the romance between music teacher Carl Linden ( Nelson Eddy) and his prize pupil Sarah Milick ( Jeanette MacDonald). [3]

Cast

Soundtrack

  • "I'll See You Again"
  • "Polka"
    • Written by Noël Coward
    • Played at the party and danced to by the guests
  • "If You Could Only Come With Me"
    • Written by Noël Coward
    • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy
  • "What Is Love"
    • Written by Noël Coward
    • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy
    • Reprised at Schlick's
  • "Kiss Me"
    • Written by Noël Coward
    • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald
  • "Tokay"
    • Written by Noël Coward
    • Sung by Nelson Eddy and the patrons at the cafe
  • "Love In Any Language"
    • Written by Noël Coward
    • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald at the cafe
    • Partly dubbed by Ann Harriet Lee
  • "Dear Little Cafe"
    • Words and Music by Noël Coward with additional lyrics by Gus Kahn
    • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy
    • Reprised by Jeanette MacDonald
  • "Ladies Of The Town"
    • Written by Noël Coward and Gus Kahn
    • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and 2 uncredited female singers
  • "Una voce poco fa"
  • "Zigeuner (The Gypsy)"
    • Written by Noël Coward
    • Sung by Jeanette MacDonald in the operetta finale

See also