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During the Great Depression, a sheet music salesman seeks to escape his dreary life through popular music and a love affair with an innocent school teacher.

  • Herbert Ross
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
  • SLM Production Group
  • Hera Productions
Chicago, 1934. Dream sequences of the many characters in question lip-syncing and dancing to classic renditions of Tin Pan Alley songs propel the story of traveling sheet music salesman Arthur Parker. He is in a largely unsatisfying marriage to Joan Parker due to their incompatibility. Puritanical Joan sees sex as a dirty thing, which frustrates Arthur. What Joan primarily wants in a husband is a good provider, which Arthur isn't doing with this job, although he sees himself as the most knowledgeable about the music he is selling, especially as he really would like to live the lyrics to those happy songs. If he had the money, he'd open his own record store instead. On his travels, he spots shy junior school music teacher Eileen Everson, with who he falls in love at first sight. He sees her as the perfect woman, and although most of that vision of her is as an angel, he nonetheless wants to embark on a sexual relationship with her. As Arthur lies to her about his marital status, they do begin a relationship. Her reserved exterior masks her true wants as a red-blooded human. An outcome of their relationship forces Eileen to change her environment. And his encounter with a blind girl leads to an unexpected outcome. These items in combination may prevent that movie musical happy ending that Arthur in particular strives for in his life.


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