This is remarkable, really - no contemporary analogue is possible. It begins in the concert hall:



The title is rather . . . insinuating, but clear your mind of such naughty thoughts: the venue should tell you we're in Classville, brother:





If you're wondering: yes, it's him. Behold the Great Man Himself, conducting in his inimitable style. You may only have seen him before in silhouette form in "Fantasia." Here's how American audiences believed conducting was done. It's like playing Air Orchestra.



The story is pure Hollywood Hokum: struggling trombonist (Adolphe Menjou, looking classy despite his poverty) is turned away from yet another job with the symphony, but he finds a purse with lots of money. His daughter returns it to the rich lady owner, who's sitting in the strangest damned sofa I've ever seen:



They may be swells, but they're okay joes on the level, as the parlance had it, and they invite this dahling girl to sing for them. The dahling girl:


Deanna Durbin, who had a lovely voice but yammered on and on a million miles an hour like a chipmunk on crank. She has one goal: help out her father, the aforementioned jobless trombonist, and all of his friends. Turns out New York is overflowing with underutilized symphony orchestra players, and she's going to get them all jobs in an orchestra and she doesn't care who says no and she has a friend a rich friend oh she's awfully nice and she said her husband will put up the money if she can get a conductor oh daddy it's awfully great news isn't it isn't it isn't it?

To lure a conductor, she sorta kinda tells a fib to the newspaper, and says a famous conductor will conduct the show:



This news is sufficiently important to merit a montage, complete with Hawking Newsboys:



Naturally, she has to confess the tale to the Great Man himself, and does so in a scene that shows she's not awed by no conductor no how, gosh it all. She has spunk! I include this clip because it's amusing to see Stokowski act, and make that cute little smile.



Alas, Leopold cannot make it, because he's going to Europe. It's been planned. The Unemployed Orchestra, naturally, decides they can make him cancel his trip if they show up at his house and play on the staircase:



. . . which leads to one of the more unintentionally comic moments in the history of Western Music. Ready? THE BOY CAN'T HELP IT:



That makes me laugh every time. And it works!



So it ends, with Stokowski leading the Unemployed Orchestra, and Deanna Durbin singing a song, and Leopold chewing the scenery with his hands. Silly, all of it, but quite charming after all. And so perfectly American.




Leopold was 55 when this film was made. He'd live, and conduct, and record, for another forty.

Oh: he was famous for conducting without a baton. Which explains this, at 0:12, if you wondered as a kid what exactly what was going on.