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Film / She Shall Have Music

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She Shall Have Music is a British romantic musical comedy made in 1935, mostly as a film vehicle for bandleader Jack Hylton (the British equivalent of Paul Whiteman), featuring American actress/singer June Clyde as the leading lady, Brian Lawrance as her romantic lead and Claude Dampier as an eccentric inventor.

The plot (if you can call it that way) has Hylton's band touring around Europe before boarding a cruise, where they will broadcast from the sea. The owner's son becomes infatuated by Jack's new singer, but becomes repulsed when he finds out she's part of a jazz band. The cruise is then shangaied in an attempt to get Hylton to broadcast aboard another ship.

This film was part of a number of cheaply-made musicals made by British studios during the 1930s in response to Hollywood material, often starring bandleaders such as Henry Hall, (Bert) Ambrose and even American jack-of-all-trades Charles "Buddy" Rogers. However, She Shall Have Music was the only one the achieve success across the Atlantic, coinciding with Hylton's brief stint in the U.S.

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Tropes

  • Busby Berkeley Number: The introduction number is inspired on the Berkeley style then in vogue. First we see a jig-saw game featuring the band, the pieces being assembled by a number of chorus girls to the tune of "The Band that Jack Built".
  • The Cast Show Off: Hylton's Austrian-born saxophonist Freddie Schweitzer (appropriately nicknamed "The Clown") is first featured as an employee of the cruise convincing Jack to hire him, playing a sax and a clarinet at the same time... while riding an unicycle... balancing a 'cello with his nose (legend says that he once balanced a bass fiddle during a performance in Paris).
  • Grand Finale: The band returns to London by the end of the film, their performance featuring June Clyde's and Brian Lawrance's characters tying the knot at the end.
  • The Musical: About half of the film features musical numbers, mostly written for the movie, although the "12th Street Rag" (1914) and the "Hylton Stomp" (1932) are also briefly featured.
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  • No Plot? No Problem!: As with many British musicals from the 1930s, the plot is mostly irrelevant.
  • She's Got Legs: There is a can-can number at the middle of the film. It was cut from the U.S. release.
  • Unbuilt Trope: The film involves an offshore radio broadcast thirty years before the "radio ship" boom that flooded Britain in the 1960s.
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