Balalaika

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A Cossack prince (Nelson Eddy) and a nightclub singer who is also the daughter of a revolutionary (Ilona Massey) fall in love and are torn apart. WWI and the Russian Revolution bring them back together.

This one was totally preposterous. The only reason Mr. Otter and I kept watching was to catch the songs…the best were the Balalaika song, and Eddy singing the Song of the Volga Boatmen.

Yup, call me a wacko, but I think Nelson Eddy was a SERIOUS honey in the thirties. Charming, cute in a teddy-bearish sort of way, with a kind of ‘aw, shucks, I’m not such a big deal’ attitude, and a GORGEOUS baritone. Ilona Massey, of whom I’d never even heard before this movie, was a honey too- gorgeous, great facial expressions, beautiful voice, very easy on the eye. Many bit parts by well-known people, inc. Frank Morgan (in the same year he played Oz), C. Aubrey Smith, and others.

Worth seeing once for the songs, but you’ll laugh yourself silly over the plot twists…the Reality Police usually eschew visits to musicals, by the very nature of the beasts, but if they WERE to arrest a cast and crew, this would be a good contender…

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