British Musicals of the 1930s, Volume 3 – My Song Goes Round the World and Heart’s Desire

Joseph Schmidt and Charlotte Ander

Joseph Schmidt and Charlotte Ander in ‘My Song Goes Round the World’

Following on from my look at the first two films in a new DVD set, released by Network Distributing, here are some thoughts on the other two. Where the earlier films are very British in their humour and their whole atmosphere, the two slightly later offerings on the second disc have a more international feeling. One is set in Venice, the other partially in Vienna. Another similarity between the two is that they both feature great operatic tenors in the lead roles – Joseph Schmidt in My Song Goes Round the World (1934) and Richard Tauber in  Heart’s Desire (1934). All the films in this series are part of The British Film Collection.

I really enjoyed both, and for me the first of these is the stand-out film of the entire set. Having said that, Tauber’s voice in the second film is probably the musical high point. In both films, the greatest thrill comes in scenes where the star singer gives an impromptu performance, and those around them suddenly realise that they have great voices which belie their appearance (Schmidt’s height, Tauber’s peasant dress). 

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