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I Dream Too Much

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I Dream Too Much (1935) starring Lily Pons, Henry Fonda, Eric Blore
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I Dream Too Much (1935) starring Lily Pons, Henry Fonda, Eric Blore

Synopsis of I Dream Too Much

Jonathan Street is a struggling composer when he meets and marries Annette. The problem is that Jonathan was drunk and does not want to be married. Annette does go with him to Paris and does the cooking and cleaning. To get his music published, Annette takes it to Paul and he is won over – by her voice and not the music. So he manages her career and she becomes a star as an opera singer everywhere she goes. Since Jonathan cannot sell anything he writes, he leaves Annette.  That makes Annette sad as she wants only to be his wife.

Editorial review of I Dream Too Much (1935) starring Lily Pons, Henry Fonda, Eric Blore, courtesy of

If Columbia could make an acceptable movie star out of opera-diva Grace Moore, then RKO Radio could do the same with Lily Pons. At least that was producer Pandro S. Berman’s reasoning when he cast PONS in the 1935 musical romance I Dream too Much. The actress plays Annette, a rural French musical student who marries struggling American composer Jonathan (Henry Fonda). Possessed of a splendid singing voice, our heroine rises to fame on the opera stage, while poor Jonathan continues struggling, supporting himself as a tour guide. Annette eventually saves her marriage by transforming her husband’s “masterpiece,” a rather turgid modernistic opera, into a light-hearted musical comedy.

Lucille Ball, who’d later co-star with Henry Fonda in The Big Street and Yours, Mine and Ours, has a funny minor role as a gum-snapping tourist. Though Lily Pons was at least 10 years older than Fonda, they make an attractive and believable screen couple, adding credibility to this somewhat contrived yarn. And of course, Lily Pons is seen and heard to excellent advantage in a variety of solos, both brand-new (courtesy of Jerome Kern) and classical: In the closing production number, the svelte Ms. PONS is alluringly garbed in a revealing oriental costume, proving once and for all that women did have belly-buttons back in 1935! SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Oscar Academy Awards,

Funny movie quotes from I Dream Too Much

Annette Monard (Lily Pons): Don’t you think you could stand me? Just for a little while? Just so I could get away from here? I would cook for you and make your bed, and I would try to put on a little fat.
Jonathan ‘Johnny’ Street (Henry Fonda): No. It’s impossible. I’d treat you very badly. You’d interfere with my work and I couldn’t have that. I’d probably beat you!
Annette Monard (Lily Pons): Of course! But I wouldn’t care!

Roger Briggs (Eric Blore): I’m a waiter now. It’s a shocking profession. One learns how dangerous eating really is. Now you take that caviar for instance – that’s probably teeming with ptomaine.

Roger Briggs (Eric Blore): Yes, she died in my arms. Oh, it was beautiful… Have you ever had a seal die in your arms?
Jonathan ‘Johnny’ Street (Henry Fonda): No, I never did.
Roger Briggs (Eric Blore): Oh, well, you take my advice – if ever you get a seal, and it looks like dying, you have it to die in your arms… Just beautiful…

Paul Darcy (Osgood Perkins): Are you mad?
Annette Monard (Lily Pons): Yes I am – and I like it!

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