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The Cat and the Fiddle

The Cat and the Fiddle(1934)

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The Cat and the Fiddle A struggling composer courts a... MORE > $16.95
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Chased by a Brussels cafe owner for an unpaid food bill, composer and pianist Victor Florescu jumps into a passing taxicab and meets pretty Shirley Sheridan, a visiting New Yorker. Upon arriving at Shirley's pension, which is next door to his own, penniless Victor insists on paying the taxi fare and gives the driver the score to his latest operetta in lieu of money. Victor then learns from his mentor, Professor Bertier, that Jules Daudet, a wealthy arts patron, wants to audition his operetta that evening at the Conservatory of Music. As he struggles to recall his score in his pension room, Victor is disturbed by the piano playing of a neighbor, who turns out to be Shirley. Forgetting his anger and his own practice, Victor demonstrates on Shirley's piano alternative arrangements for a song she has been composing, "The Night Was Made for Love." Grateful for Victor's musical insight, Shirley succumbs momentarily to his romantic overtures, but is perplexed when he suddenly rushes off for his appointment. After a desperate search through the city, Victor locates the taxi driver and, with a loan from Charles, an eccentric passerby, retrieves his score. Irritated by Victor's lateness, Daudet refuses to listen to his music, but changes his mind when the composer proclaims that his newfound love is more important than the audition. During the audition, Shirley shows up at the conservatory and is startled to see Victor there. While only mildly impressed by Victor's compositions, Daudet gushes at Shirley's song and immediately offers to publish it for her. When Daudet then makes a pass at her, however, Shirley rejects his offer and leaves the school in a huff. That night, Victor pledges his love to Shirley, and she confesses to a heartsick Daudet that she is in love with Victor. Determined to win Shirley, Daudet informs Victor that, if he wants his money for the operetta, he must leave immediately for Paris. To Daudet's surprise, Victor refuses to abandon Shirley, and thus forfeits his chance for instant success. Sometime later, Shirley, whose song has been published successfully by Daudet and who now lives in Paris with Victor, encourages the composer to pursue Odette Brieux, a wealthy operetta singer, as a possible star for his show. Depressed by his inability to compose in the shadow of Shirley's success, Victor instead declares his desire to return to Brussels, and the devoted Shirley prepares to go with him. However, when Daudet tells him that Shirley's career will be ruined if she leaves Paris, Victor pretends that he is no longer in love with her and returns to Brussels alone. There Victor mounts his operetta, The Cat and the Fiddle , with backing from Odette's husband Rudy. Shortly before opening night, however, Rudy catches Odette kissing a reluctant Victor and pulls both her and his money from the show. After the production loses its leading man, Charles, who plays harp in the show, goes to Shirley and begs her to join the cast. Engaged to Daudet, Shirley refuses to help Victor, who now faces arrest for writing a bad production check. As the curtain rises, however, Charles and Victor hear Shirley on stage singing the opening song. After accepting Victor's declarations of love, Shirley performs a romantic duet with him, and the operetta proves to be a huge success.