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The Cat and the Fiddle

The Cat and the Fiddle(1934)

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The final musical sequence of this film was shot in three-strip Technicolor. For more information on this process, for Becky Sharp. According to a August 21, 1933 Hollywood Reporter news item, James K. McGuinness was hired to write the screenplay for the film. A September 1, 1933 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Anita Loos was hired to rewrite the script because studio executives and Jeanette MacDonald became dissatisfied with the original script after a few days of shooting. By mid-September 1933, Zelda Sears and Eve Greene were brought in to work on the script, according to Hollywood Reporter. The exact nature of these writers' contributions to the final film is not known. According to a November 18, 1933 Daily Variety news item, retakes, which were directed by Howard, were ordered to give the picture a new ending. Six weeks later, additional retakes of the ending were shot and were directed by Sam Wood and supervised by Bernard Hyman, according to Daily Variety.
       An early January 1934 Hollywood Reporter news item states that Ramon Novarro and Jeanette MacDonald were to film a "special musical number" in French to accompany the dubbed French release print. M. Farrell is credited in M-G-M music files as instructing the chorus in the singing of the French lyrics. Daily Variety reported that M-G-M had budgeted $135,000 for retakes and the filming of the French version. The second round of retakes were completed by mid-January 1934. Motion Picture Herald's "In the Cutting Room" announced that Vivienne Segal was to sing "If You're for Me" as her "big single number," but this song was not included in the viewed print. All of the songs from the stage musical were included in the film, although in some cases only part of the song is heard, or in the case of "Poor Pierrot" and "One Moment Alone," the lyrics were re-written. Jerome Kern re-used "Don't Ask Me Not to Sing" in his 1933 stage musical Roberta. Modern sources claim that, prior to casting her in The Cat and the Fiddle, Louis B. Mayer wanted I Married an Angel as the first film of MacDonald's new contract with M-G-M. Because of strong disapproval from the Hays Office, however, the project was abandoned until 1942, when it became the last film that MacDonald and Nelson Eddy appeared in together. According to files in the MPPA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, The Cat and the Fiddle was rejected for re-issue certification by the Hays Office in 1937 because the "two sympathetic leads" engage in an "illicit sex relationship without compensating moral values." According to modern sources, MacDonald's costume in the finale was designed for and used by Joan Crawford in the "Let's Go Bavarian" number in M-G-M's 1933 film Dancing Lady.