DVDless Dvorak Films, Part 10: Sweet Music

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 28

Today I am returning home from a week long family road trip through Arizona which included a visit to the Grand Canyon, the best B&B in Downtown Tucson, Amazing Arizona Comic Con, and a lot of DVDless Dvorak movies. I now present the tenth and (mercifully) last in this series.

I am not a huge fan of Sweet Music, which (in my humble opinion) drags and is not as funny as it thinks it is. Plus, Ann’s character leans too much on the bitchy side for my taste, though this is an unusual change for her. However, despite the many shortcomings the film has, there are a few reasons why I think Sweet Music deems an official DVD release.

First off is the amount of talent. Rudy Vallee I can take or leave (though I do love him in Palm Beach Story), but Ned Sparks, Allen Jenkins, and Alice White are a lot of fun, and don’t forget appearances by Al Sheen (uncle to the Marx Brothers) and torch singer Helen Morgan. This 1935 feature is one of the higher budget films of Ann’s career which she lobbied hard for, and subsequently was one of her favorites. Possibly the biggest reason I endorse a release of Sweet Music is the presence of the ridiculous bird outfit, which rivals the Midnight Court fish dress for sheer hideousness.

Likelihood of an Official DVD Release: If Warner Bros. still has the rights to this, I think we may be seeing it from the Warner Archive sometime down the line.


  1. DickP January 28, 2013

    After reading today’s item I fired up my “Ann Dvorak” computer and watched “Sweet Music” for a refresher. It’s always interesting to watch Ann’s various delivery and presentation styles in the mid-‘30s (her own enjoyable personality always shows through enough to make it well worthwhile). Regarding the other cast members: Rudy Vallee has a pretty fair voice (most of the time) but is somewhat monotone at times with an almost expressionless delivery style. He was very popular at the time, so who am I to criticize! I’m not a fan of Ned Sparks – ever, but Allen Jenkins and Alice White were a nice addition.. The musical equivalent of the Three Stooges (times two in this case) at the beginning of the movie in the band scene started rather corny, but soon shifts into something somewhat crazy, but enjoyable. Then again at the end of the film, the railroad station production number is nice to watch (except for the oversize “rug” that Ann is wearing for a coat); the number is almost MGM like in scenery and presentation.
    Overall I would give this flick a B to a B+ rating, and worth watching (as usual, this viewer gives Ann her normal A to A++ rating – probably a bit biased). This movie should definitely be made available as a DVD release for those that enjoy interesting older films – AND – should be profitable venture for the producers I would bet.

  2. artman2112 January 28, 2013

    oh i;d love to see this one, i’ll watch ANYTHING with Alice White in it! and Allen Jenkins and Ned Sparks always crack me up.

    ok wait Jenkins didnt crack me up in Three on a Match, he was actually quite menacing!

  3. admin January 28, 2013

    Unfortunately, when TCM aired this for Ann Dvorak Day in 2011, the sound was screwed up for the first 15 minutes are so. Kind of surprised that they never re-aired it.

  4. artman2112 January 29, 2013

    damn, i dont even recall that they played this film on that blessed day! it musta been that i wasnt going to be home or near enough to home to record it and all the other films played around that same part of the day. i probly passed on it when i saw Rudy Vallee was the star haha

  5. Scott A. April 13, 2015

    Well, I finally caught up with this one on, of all places, YouTube! Based on the first ten minutes, and any subsequent performances by “Phil Houston” (Rudy) and his “Mad Men” (how’s that for foreshadowing) in the film, I was incredibly grateful for the fast-forward bar. Actually bordering on the painful.

    But everything – I mean *everything* – changes when Ann appears. She not only gives it her all, she gives this little effort far more than it deserves. Now I fully understand the use of the word “Ann-tastic”, for that is exactly her effect whenever she’s on screen. In fact, I can’t think of another Ann Dvorak film where there’s more of a discrepancy between the overall production and her performance,

    My favorite moment: when she’s “conducting” the chorus girls int he “Annabelle” production number. Considering that she was, and, but for the grace of God and Howard Hughes, might still have been one of those girls up there on the ramp, it was actually a very touching moment.

  6. admin April 15, 2015

    I can’t really disagree with you, as this is not one of my favorites either. Interestingly, it was one of Ann’s bigger budget films at Warner Bros. and she FOUGHT for the role.

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