Action / Comedy / Drama / Musical / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Jeanette MacDonald Photo
Jeanette MacDonald as Marcia Warren
Jim Davis Photo
Jim Davis as Sergeant
Robert Young Photo
Robert Young as Homer Smith
Dan Seymour Photo
Dan Seymour as Fat Doorman in Cairo Theatre
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
926.34 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
P/S 2 / 1
1.68 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 40 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mark.waltz6 / 10

Spies! Songs! Comedy! Romance! Ethel Waters!

OK, it's not so surprising to see Ethel shuffling along while waiting for the Robert E. Lee, but how about Jeanette MacDonald? You don't expect the songstress who sang of her sweet mystery of life and always wanted to remember Maytime to be doing a shuffle, but like Irene Dunne in the 1936 classic film version of "Show Boat", she completely surprises her audience by acting against type. She's a movie star whom small town reporter Robert Young suspects of being a spy for the Germans.

"Darling Jeanette" (to parody the Julie Andrews World War I spy film of 1970) is actually meant to emulate Jeanette herself, quite the iron butterfly as she hires Young as her butler after learning that he's from California, but not the southern part. "I've been to San Francisco once", she quips, adding "With Gable and Tracy, and the place fell apart." This sets up the pace for a delightful yarn that serves its purpose for World War II propaganda, and while it is obvious that Jeanette is as much a spy for the Germans as Young is really an M.D. in real life, this is a lot of fun to watch play out.

There's also Reginald Owen (not a surprise; He seemed to be in practically every MGM film in 1942) as the Englishman who pushes Young into being an undercover spy for the allies and Mona Barrie as his hard as nails contact. But the scenery is stolen by the quite amusing Jeanette and the team of Waters & Wilson (Ethel and Dooley) who provide a classy change of pace for the usual stereotypical black servants in film. It is obvious that veteran character actor Lionel Atwill (one of the great villains in the Sherlock Holmes films) is an evil Nazi collaborator, but the revelation of who the female collaborator is might come as a surprise.

Waters, in between Broadway plays and waiting for the film version of "Cabin in the Sky" to be ready, has great screen presence, and in taking on a part usually essayed by Hattie McDaniel, Louise Beavers or Hattie Noel (see "Lady For a Night" to see what I mean),she adds a new dimension to a vintage screen archetype that is loyal and lovable, but not an always accurate treatment of black women on screen. The film itself is probably about ten minutes too long, but that doesn't stop this from maintaining a tense atmosphere in between comic moments and the delightful songs and dances. The finale half hour takes place on an ancient Egyptian ruin, probably not a realistic choice, but it makes for a glamorous setting.

This is also a bit ahead of its time, having seemingly looked into a crystal ball with the use of a droid that the enemy agents have created as a weapon of destruction. As much as I like Jeanette MacDonald as an actress, I sometimes find a difficulty in understanding the lyrics she is singing in her often shrill soprano. There's no denying her talent. She had it all, with comedy, serious dramatic emotion, and the ability to capture the audience's heart. But her singing is better when she has a chorus behind here, and when she lowers her range to sing along with Ethel Waters, you don't miss a lyric.

This segment should have been included in one of the "That's Entertainment!" films as it is quite unique, and shows off her versatility past Indian Love Calls. For real extravagance, check out MacDonald's bathtub when Young tries to put out a fire. It is decadent beyond words, and I can just picture it filled with bubbles and Myrna Loy laying in it in 1933's "The Barbarian".

Reviewed by MartinHafer3 / 10

Too many songs, not enough real comedy.

"Cairo" is clearly a misfire and I my wife and I groaned repeatedly while watching this poor MGM spoof. It suffers in two major areas--there is too much singing (which is odd, as one reviewer thought the opposite) and the comedy is very forced and unfunny.

The film begins with Homer Smith (Robert Young) being sent by his small town newspaper to be a war correspondent. However, his adventure is short-lived when his ship is sunk. While floating about the Mediteranian, he meets up with a spy (Reginald Owen) and they eventually decide to separate. The spy asks Homer to deliver a message to a lady in a bar in Cairo (in case he cannot make it) and this drops dopey Homey into a nest of Nazi spies. Now this is VERY obvious and it's a tribute to how stupid they made his character that he had no indication that they were enemy agents. However, the Nazi lady spy decides to send Homer on a wild goose chase and tells him that a famous American actress who just happens to be in Cairo is a Nazi! So, Homer applies for a job as a butler for Marcia Warren (Jeanette MacDonald) so he can spy on her! There's a lot more to the film, but none of it works well because the film keeps getting interrupted by songs. The MacDonald ones are typical for her--with LOTS of high-pitched operatic stuff that would make most folks ill. I know I found myself using the fast-forward button whenever she began singing. The other problem is that Homer and Marcia seems incredibly stupid--yet, they somehow defeat the Nazis and save the world! Unfunny, forced and dumb. Perhaps my score of 3 is a bit charitable.

Reviewed by rapzz10 / 10

A good film to watch!!

If you are a Jeanette MacDonald fan this is a "MUST SEE" film. No, it's not her very best film, but it's different enough for her that it's really great watching!! Read the other comments - except for the fellow that doesn't like Musicals (poor fellow),they're pretty much right on track. While Robert Young gets a bit "hammy" in a couple scenes, overall it's a very delightful musical/spy spoof/drama/etc. A good balance of songs and drama, which was important for morale during the early years of WWII.

Hint for Jeanette MacDonald fans: You _MUST_ see Ethyl Waters and Jeanette's rendition of "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee" about half way through the film. You've NEVER seen Jeanete like this - very cute, very well done!!

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