I adore Irene Dunne as an actress. I have seen several of her early films where the film is so dull and so boring that they are even difficult to write up but her performances are always above and beyond. I have watched yet again another of Dunne’s early films that are so boring they were painful to sit through this time it was 1934’s Sweet Adeline.
Honestly I cannot go into any details because my brain just switched off from it almost right from the beginning. Dunne plays a woman named Anna Schmidt who works at her father’s beer garden in Hoboken in the 1890s. Not only is she a waitress she also sings some songs her friend Sid Barnett has written. One night Sid gets an offer to have an operetta he wrote put on Broadway. He jumps at the chance and he wants Adeline to be the lead since all the songs were written for her to sing.
Adeline does not want to go to New York she is happy where she is, or so she says. Her father does not want her or her sister to be an actress. Adeline gets sucked in to do the show when she goes to Sid in New York looking for her sister. The actress who had been hired cannot properly sing the songs the way Sid wants them sung. Adeline and the show become a huge success. Sid and Adeline are no longer on friendly terms. She has been seeing a Major Jim Day (Louis Calhern) and is waiting for him to propose to her.
While all this other stuff is going on the actress Elysia who originally had Adeline’s part is a foreign spy. Also she is so jealous of Adeline that she has someone cut her ropes in one part of the play.
Other things happen and the story becomes a mess but in the end Sid writes another play called The Belle of Hoboken and Adeline and some of the other girls from the beer garden are in the play.
Ugh I could not wait until this was over. I literally had this film saved from December when it originally aired on TCM. The only thing I liked about the film was that Adeline, Sid, and her sister were supposed to be from Hoboken and I always love a Jersey mention. There is a really good beer garden in Hoboken I went to a few years ago for my cousin’s birthday, unfortunately the name escapes me but if you live in north Jersey or are from Hoboken I am sure you know the one I am talking about.
Sweet Adeline is a classic film I highly suggest skipping unless you are a huge Irene Dunne fan because other than that there is no reason on earth to watch this film unless you want to die of boredom.