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Second Fiddle

Second Fiddle(1939)

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In the opening credits, the film is called "Irving Berlin's Second Fiddle." The working titles of this film were Cupid Goes to Press, Heart Interest, Love Is Tops and When Winter Comes. According to materials contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Library, George Bradshaw's original unpublished story on which the film was based was titled "Heart Interest." After reading a revised treatment of the story by Harry Tugend, studio head Darryl F. Zanuck decided to make the story into a Sonja Henie film, and later decided to build the part of Jimmy for Tyrone Power. According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, also at UCLA, Irving Berlin's contract called for him to receive $75,000 plus 10% of the gross receipts and proceeds over and above $1,125,000. According to a pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter, Don Ameche was originally slated to play the role of "Jimmy Sutton," but his previous commitment to The Story of Alexander Graham Bell prevented his appearance. Another pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter adds that Sidney Lanfield replaced William Seiter as director when Seiter replaced Walter Lang on Susannah of the Mounties. During production, photographer George Barnes took over for Leon Shamroy when Shamroy was hospitalized for an appendectomy, according to a news item in Hollywood Reporter. Additional scenes were filmed by Bert Glennon. Other items in Hollywood Reporter add that this was the first film in which Sonja Henie had a skating partner. According to the legal records, exterior locations were shot at the Earl Carroll Theater in Hollywood, while the inside of the theater was reproduced at the studio. Berlin's song "I Poured My Heart into a Song" was nominated for an Academy Award.