The Cat And The Fiddle

  • 1934
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Musical

In Brussels, failed composer Novarro is running from a restaurateur when he hops into a taxi occupied by MacDonald, who is newly arrived from New York and planning to study with Novarro's music teacher. She asks him to find his own cab but he turns on the charm. They are living next door to each other in matching pensions. They grab for her luggage, the...read more

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In Brussels, failed composer Novarro is running from a restaurateur when he hops into a taxi occupied by MacDonald, who is newly arrived from New York and planning to study with Novarro's music teacher. She asks him to find his own cab but he turns on the charm. They are living next door

to each other in matching pensions. They grab for her luggage, the valise opens, and her gear is strewn all over the sidewalk. She runs into the little hotel and the cabbie goes after Novarro for the fare. He doesn't have a sou, so the taxi driver takes his sheet music, the only asset he has.

Novarro's operetta is opening and the night before the gala event, the husband of Vivienne Segal, the leading lady, withdraws his support when he finds the vampish Segal with her arms about a struggling-to-get-away Novarro. Novarro is desperate, bounces a check to theater-owner Conroy to keep the

place open, but it doesn't help as the orchestra and the leading man walk out. Novarro decides to play the lead himself and Butterworth, a harpist who never plays, asks MacDonald if she will step in and do the part' as she knows it. She turns him down and concentrates on her upcoming plans to

marry the womanizing Morgan. Butterworth arrives at the theater with an ancient singer who promptly drinks herself into a stupor. Novarro is crazed and about to abort the performance and go to jail for writing a rubber check when he hears the glorious MacDonald soprano on stage. The rest of the

film is shot in Technicolor as the on-stage musical is running and the off-stage romance is deepening. MacDonald tells Novarro that she is just there to help keep him out of le clink. He prevails on her emotions and by the time the curtain is ringing down on the successful premiere of Novarro's

show, MacDonald is in his arms and the lovers unite as one. The Kern and Harbach score stood the play in good stead and it ran 395 times on Broadway. On screen, it's not quite so successful. "The Night Was Made for Love" was the only song that survived. Novarro was supposed to be the logical

successor to Rudolph Valentino for the "Latin Lover" image but he never caught the public's imagination the way Rudy did. Perhaps fans sensed that he wasn't really into heterosexual romance. Novarro was beaten to death in 1968 by two male hustlers, but when he made this film he was still on top of

the world. MacDonald appears in this film version of the 1931 stage musical as her first production for MGM. Mogul Louis B. Mayer intended to have the soprano appear in I MARRIED AN ANGEL, but this property was labelled risque by the Hays Office, Hollywood's censor board. The film was finally made

in 1942 as the last film MacDonald made with Nelson Eddy. Adrian designed MacDonald's first costumes for this operetta but she got some hand-me-down treatment when she was dressed for the finale in a gown Joan Crawford had worn a year earlier in DANCING LADY. Other Songs: "The Breeze Kissed Your

Hair," "One Moment Alone," "Impressions In a Harlem Flat," "Poor Pierrot," "She Didn't Say Yes," "Don't Tell Us Not to Sing," "I Watch the Love Parade," "A New Love Is Old," "The Crystal Candelabra," "Ha! Cha Cha," "Try To Forget."

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: In Brussels, failed composer Novarro is running from a restaurateur when he hops into a taxi occupied by MacDonald, who is newly arrived from New York and planning to study with Novarro's music teacher. She asks him to find his own cab but he turns on the… (more)

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