5.4/10
71
5 user 2 critic

A Lady's Morals (1930)

Passed | | Drama, Musical | 8 November 1930 (USA)
Largely fictionalized biopic of turn-of-the-century nightingale Jenny Lind, highlighted by her true-to-life intersection with showman P.T. Barnum.

Director:

Sidney Franklin

Writers:

Dorothy Farnum (story), Hanns Kräly (scenario) (as Hans Kraly) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

New Moon (1930)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

New Moon is the name of the ship crossing the Caspian Sea. A young Lt. Petroff meets the Princess Tanya and they have a ship board romance. Upon arriving at the port of Krasnov, Petroff ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Lawrence Tibbett, Grace Moore, Adolphe Menjou
Jenny Lind (1931)
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Arthur Robison
Stars: Grace Moore, André Luguet, André Berley
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Yankee sea captain has adventures in paradise trying to become an entrepreneur in Micronesia.

Directors: Byron Haskin, Burt Lancaster
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Joan Rice, André Morell
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A British nobleman takes the blame and stands trial after his son strangles her lover.

Directors: R.L. Hough, Marcel Varnel
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Greta Nissen, Weldon Heyburn
Certificate: Passed Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Mary Barrett is an aspiring Opera singer who is taken under the wings of a famous operatic maestro, Guilio Monterverdi. After spending endless working hours together and arguing, their ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Schertzinger
Stars: Grace Moore, Tullio Carminati, Lyle Talbot
Agostino (1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Agostino is a 13-year-old boy on vacation in Venice with his widowed mother. When a local stud seduces her, jealous Agostino joins a local group of juvenile delinquents out of protest. They force him to face his budding sexuality.

Director: Mauro Bolognini
Stars: Ingrid Thulin, Paolo Colombo, Mario Bartoletti
Born Black (1969)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A wealthy German businessman has a one-night stand with a waitress who works in a jazz club and whose black boyfriend is a trumpet player in the club's band. The same night the businessman ... See full summary »

Director: Rolf von Sydow
Stars: Gabriele Buch, Günther Schramm, Elisabetta Fanti
Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Feature writer Ray Savage is assigned to uncover the facts leading to the sudden death of Jayne Hayle. His investigations expose an intricate web of crimes and characters involved in a kidnapping, murder, and counterfeiting.

Director: Ernest Morris
Stars: Dermot Walsh, Hazel Court, Jennifer Jayne
Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Los Angeles, 1953. The author David L. "Dave" Brady wants to bring a missed ex-newspaperman back to Los Angeles. Therefore Dave has to travel to Mexico City. Dave gets involved with a ... See full summary »

Director: Rex Bailey
Stars: George Brent, Hillary Brooke, Morris Ankrum
Good News (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Tom Marlowe is the star of his college football team, and has a promising romance with a female college student, Connie Lane. He does not excel, however, in his college studies. A series of... See full summary »

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Mary Lawlor, Stanley Smith, Bessie Love
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A newly hired police chief vows to clean up a notoriously corrupt police department. When he is murdered, investigators find that there is no shortage of suspects, most of them being fellow cops.

Director: Bernard B. Ray
Stars: Reginald Denny, Claudia Dell, Lloyd Hughes
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Re-enacted true story of successful assault by Nazis, posing as Poles, on a German border radio station so that Hitler could "justify" thereby his invasion of Poland.

Director: Gerhard Klein
Stars: Hannjo Hasse, Christoph Beyertt, Wolfgang Kalweit
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Grace Moore ... Jenny Lind
Reginald Denny ... Paul Brandt
Wallace Beery ... Barnum
Jobyna Howland ... Josephine
Gus Shy Gus Shy ... Olaf
Gilbert Emery ... Broughm
George F. Marion ... Innkeeper
Paul Porcasi ... Maretti
Giovanni Martino Giovanni Martino ... Zerga
Bodil Rosing ... Innkeeper's Wife
Joan Standing Joan Standing ... Louise
Mavis Villiers ... Selma
Judith Vosselli ... Rosatti
Edit

Storyline

Largely fictionalized biopic of turn-of-the-century nightingale Jenny Lind, highlighted by her true-to-life intersection with showman P.T. Barnum.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Grace Moore, who has a reputation as an opera singer, sings several lovely numbers. (Print Ad- Register-Herald, ((Pine Plains, NY)) 26 February 1931)

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jenny Lind See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its first and one of its rare early telecasts in New York City on the Late, Late Show Monday 19 January 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of Jenny Lind (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Casta Diva
(1831) (uncredited)
from "Norma"
Music by Vincenzo Bellini
Played at an opera house and sung by Grace Moore as the diva
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"The Swedish Nightingale" portrayed on film
28 October 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Although no recordings exist of Swedish soprano Jenny Lind's, nicknamed "The Swedish Nightingale", voice, making it impossible to critique her for ourselves, she did a life interesting enough to dramatise and lend itself well to film.

Lind was somewhat of a controversial artist, earning admiration from several composers such as Meyerbeer, Berlioz and Mendelssohn ('Elijah' was written with her in mind) while critics admired some aspects of her singing but found faults with others. She also suffered a vocal crisis early on due to singing heavy roles while still very young and with an untrained technique.

It was interesting seeing her portrayed on film, but while the portrayal of the lady herself is difficult to find fault with apart from Barnum's involvement in boosting her career and mention of the vocal crisis (though in different circumstances) the biographical aspects are almost entirely fictionalised. 'A Lady's Morals' underwhelms as a biopic, and is uneven as a film too if not completely deserving of its initial maligning.

The best things about it are the music and Grace Moore. The songs written for the film are wonderful and very tuneful, and even more so are the operatic excerpts expertly interwoven when it makes dramatic sense for their use, especially "Casta Diva" from 'Norma'. Moore charms and beguiles, while it was 'One Night of Love' that made her a star this is a very winning film debut and she sounds fabulous in songs and arias well suited to her (yes even a killer like "Casta Diva").

'A Lady's Morals' looks great too, beautifully photographed with some lovely visual touches and elegant costumes and decor. Jobyna Howland is splendid too, Paul Porcasi has fun as the manager and Wallace Beery (a take or leave actor for me) makes a powerhouse brief appearance in an early role that doesn't resort to ham like some of his later performances.

Couple of aspects are uneven. Sidney Franklin's direction is the main one, succeeding more visually than dramatically. There are some imaginative touches here, especially the touch the audience looking over fire flames to the snow flakes falling viewed from a window. Some of his direction is very intelligently done and he stages the songs and arias beautifully. In others, he does struggle with making the comedy believable, is too careful which makes the film lose momentum and there are scenes that are trite and belong more in a typical and overwrought early film romance, such as the scene in the meadow.

Moore's leading man Reginald Denny plays some of his scenes with a debonair and charming air, but does have a tendency to go over-the-top and too often he is over-eager to the point of being somewhat creepy. The chemistry between him and Moore is sometimes sweet but at other times too overwrought.

Where 'A Lady's Morals' particularly falls down is in the story, which is pure hokum and contrivance (not just by today's standards, this was even for 1930, and even for that year it felt very out of date, when you compare it to other films from that year), Lind's life was actually far more interesting than what was portrayed here, lacks momentum in the non-song/aria scenes and seems to not be sure what it wants to be. It tries to be comedy, romance and tragic drama, and only succeeds properly in the songs and operatic arias.

The comedy isn't sharp enough and doesn't really belong here, the romance is hampered by Moore and Denny's chemistry not being consistently believable and painfully mundane dialogue and the tragic drama elements are just too melodramatic, over-the-top and drag the pace. The sound can be very muffled, particularly bad in the dialogue where it is not always easy at all to hear what's been said. Not that the dialogue is much to write home about in the first place.

Overall, it is interesting to see Lind and her life portrayed on film, but while it is a good representation of Lind herself the film really doesn't do her story justice, just feeling too much of a story for an average at best early film made before 1930. 5/10 Bethany Cox


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed