splash  When You’re in Love is a romantic musical scripted and directed by long-time Frank Capra writer Robert Riskin and starring Grace Moore and Cary Grant. The enjoyable and fast-moving plot turns on high-spirits and high-notes. Louise Brooks makes an uncredited appearance as one of a number of dancers in a musical sequence near the end of the film.

The film proved especially popular, and was seen as a worthy successor to Moore’s triumph in the 1934 film One Night of Love, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The Hollywood Reporter stated, “With a more substantial story than the last two Grace Moore vehicles, When You’re in Love is a signal triumph for the foremost diva of the screen, for Cary Grant who should soar to stardom as result of his performance in this, and for Robert Riskin, here notably handling his first directorial assignment.” The Hollywood Spectator added “It is unquestionably her best to-date and never has she appeared to better photographic advantage.” Rob Wagner, writing in Rob Wagner’s Script (a trade journal), was especially enthusiastic. “Here is the perfect combination – the director who writes his own script and delivers perfectly . . . Yes, I’m raving, … but because I’m a priest of beauty; and this picture thrilled me.”

The film was held over in New York City, as well as in Baltimore, Seattle, Detroit, New Orleans, Trenton, Tacoma, and Springfield (Massachusetts and Illinois). The same was true in Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta Constitution wrote that the film, the “best picture made by Grace Moore” was “now in its third week at the Rialto Theater, with the demand for seats showing no signs of easing.” The same was true in Hartford, Connecticut. The Hartford Courant wrote “Don’t look now, but Loew’s Theater appears to be starting another one of those record-breaking picture engagements with When You’re in Love.”

The great British novelist Graham Greene, writing in Night and Day, was tempered in his assessment. “Miss Moore, even in trousers singing Minnie the Moocher, can make the craziest comedy sensible and hygienic. In For You Alone, the story of an Australian singer who buys an American husband in Mexico so that she may re-enter the States where her permit has expired, Mr. Riskin, the author of Mr. Deeds and (let’s not forget) Lost Horizon, has tried his best to write crazily, but he comes up all the time against Miss Moore.”

For When You’re in Love, Brooks accepted work as an extra (its impossible to spot her) with the promise of the feminine lead in another Columbia film. To exploit the situation, the studio put out the word that Brooks was willing to do anything to get back into pictures. “Louise Brooks is certainly starting her come-back from the lowest rung of the ladder,” wrote Wood Soanes of the Oakland Tribune. “She is one of a hundred dancers in the ballet chorus of Grace Moore’s When You’re in Love.” Brooks kept her part of the bargain, but the studio did not. Brooks’ lead in a Columbia film never materialized.


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“Austrian singer Louise Fuller, having overstayed her visa in the United States, goes to Mexico. Louise is concerned that she may never have the opportunity to perform with her elderly uncle, Walter Mitchell, who resides in the United States. A friend, Carlos, suggests Louise arrange a marriage with an American in order to gain citizenship, and then get a divorce. Louise meets Jimmy Hudson, an American artist who is staying in the same hotel. Jimmy falls in love with Louise after he hears her sing, but then he is arrested for having no money. Carlos suggests Louise marry Jimmy, and they walk through a short wedding ceremony and leave separately. Louise goes to New York to perform at the Symphony Hall. One day when Louise goes to her apartment, she finds Jimmy waiting to see her. Jimmy is not sure they should go through with their divorce and Louise makes him leave. The couple meets again, however, while Louise takes a break at the seashore. After a drive in the country, Louise and Jimmy are caught in a rain storm and drive to the home of Jimmy’s adopted parents, the Hamiltons. Late that evening, after they have kissed, Louise and Jimmy plan a trip to the White Mountains. In order to make the trip, Jimmy rejects an offer to design a mural, and Hank Miller, Louise’s publicist, reminds her of her scheduled performance with Uncle Walter. When the press swarms the Hamilton residence to report on the secret nuptials, Jimmy leaves angrily. On the day of the festival, Louise tells Hank that she plans to divorce Jimmy. Jimmy reads Louise’s statement in the newspaper, and during the first act of her performance, he arrives backstage. Jimmy presents Louise with the legal papers for divorce and leaves. Louise is too upset to continue her performance, and rumors circulate through the audience that she is injured. Jimmy hurries back to the theater and he and Louise make up. Louise offers to leave the show without returning onstage, but Jimmy insists that she sing “Our Song” to the audience.”

Production of the film took place at Columbia Pictures studios in Southern California between Oct  5 and December 20, 1936 . The musical pageant at the end of the film was likely shot in part at the Hollywood Bowl.


Grace Moore
Louise Fuller
Cary Grant
Jimmy Hudson
Aline MacMahon
Marianne Woods
Henry Stephenson
Walter Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Hank Miller
Catherine Doucet
Jane Summers
Luis Alberni
Luis Perugini
Gerald Oliver Smith
Gerald Meeker
Emma Dunn
Mrs. Hamilton
George C. Pearce
Mr. Hamilton
Frank Puglia
Herbert Ashley 
Immigration Chief (uncredited)
Scotty Beckett 
Boy (uncredited)
Dick Botiller 
Mexican (uncredited)
Louise Brooks 
Specialty Ballerina in chorus (uncredited)
Romaine Callender 
Waiter (uncredited)
George Cooper 
Assistant Immigration Officer (uncredited)
Georgie Cooper 
Woman (uncredited)
Marcelle Corday 
Marie, Louise’s Maid (uncredited)
Emery D’Arcy 
Scarpia (uncredited)
Jean De Briac 
Headwaiter (uncredited)
Helen Dickson 
Woman (uncredited)
Joe Dominguez 
Mexican (uncredited)
Ann Doran 
Secretary (uncredited)
Nadine Dore 
Girl (uncredited)
Jack Egger 
Boy (uncredited)
Jose Fernandez 
Dancer (uncredited)
Bess Flowers 
Woman in Dressing Room (uncredited)
Joseph Forte 
Waiter’s Assistant (uncredited)
Otto Fries 
Man (uncredited)
Bud Geary 
Reporter (uncredited)
Billy Gilbert 
Jose the Bartender (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton 
Tony, Assistant Stage Manager (uncredited)
Ruth Hilliard 
unknown role (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson 
Man in Dressing Room (uncredited)
Harry Holman 
A Babbitt Brother (uncredited)
Phyllis Holt 
unknown role (uncredited)
Arthur Hoyt 
Man (uncredited)
Arthur Stuart Hull 
Business Man (uncredited)
Soledad Jiménez 
Wife of Justice of the Peace (uncredited)
Payne B. Johnson 
Boy (uncredited)
Edward Keane 
Stage Manager (uncredited)
Sharon Keller 
unknown role (uncredited)
Isabel La Mal 
Woman (uncredited)
Harvey Leach 
Man (uncredited)
Raúl Lechuga 
Mexican Policeman (uncredited)
Frank Leyva 
Mexican Policeman (uncredited)
Bert Linden 
Dancer (uncredited)
J.P. Lockney 
Doorman (uncredited)
Alphonse Martell 
Announcer (uncredited)
Chris-Pin Martin 
Servant (uncredited)
Robert McKenzie 
Charlie Perkins (uncredited)
Wilson Millar 
Italian (uncredited)
Carlos Montalbán 
unknown role(uncredited)
Gene Morgan 
Dancer (uncredited)
Olive Morgan 
unknown role (uncredited)
Martha Mosquiera 
unknown role (uncredited)
William Mosquiera 
unknown role (uncredited)
Jeanette Noeson 
unknown role (uncredited)
Fletcher Norton 
Teacher (uncredited)
Dave O’Brien 
Dancer (uncredited)
Robert Emmett O’Connor 
Assistant Immigration Officer (uncredited)
Barnett Parker 
Butler (uncredited)
Manuel París 
Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
William Pawley 
Bruiser (uncredited)
Paul Power 
unknown role (uncredited)
Gus Reed 
Fat Waiter (uncredited)
Cyril Ring 
unknown role (uncredited)
Dewey Robinson 
Reporter (uncredited)
Claire Rochelle 
Girl (uncredited)
Henry Roquemore 
Ticket Clerk (uncredited)
Enrique de Rosas 
Hotel Manager (uncredited)
Don Rowan 
Bruiser (uncredited)
Carmen Samaniego 
Dancer (uncredited)
Nena Sandoval 
Dancer (uncredited)
Hector V. Sarno 
Jail Guard (uncredited)
C. Montague Shaw 
Attorney (uncredited)
Bruce Sidney 
Stage Manager (uncredited)
Peggy Stratford 
Woman (uncredited)
Mary Ann Such 
Little Ballet Dancer (uncredited)
Patty Jo Tracy 
unknown role (uncredited)
Antonio Vidal 
Justice of the Peace (uncredited)
Catherine Wallace 
unknown role (uncredited)
May Wallace 
Woman (uncredited)
Lucille Ward 
Music Teacher (uncredited)
Pat West 
A Babbitt Brother (uncredited)
Ruth Williard 
Woman (uncredited)


Harry Cohn
Associate Producer:
Everett Riskin
Robert Riskin, and Harry Lachman (uncredited)
Assistant Director:
Arthur S. Black
Writing Credits:
Screenplay by Robert Riskin, adapted from a story idea by Ethel Hill and Cedric Worth
Joseph Walker
Film Editor:
Gene Milford
Art Direction:
Stephen Goosson
Bernard Newman
Western Costume Company
Musical Director:
Alfred Newman (uncredited)
Sound Engineer:
Lodge Cunningham
Ensemble staging:
Leon Leonidoff
Sound – black & white
Running Time:
11 reels (9,281 feet), listed at 104 and 110 minutes
March 1, 1937 by Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd. (LP6950)
Release Date:
February 27, 1937
Radio City Music Hall
Country of Origin:
United States

The extensive list of uncredited actors in the film largely derives from IMDb.

Under its American title, When You’re in Love, documented screenings of the film took place in Australia, British Malaysia (Singapore), Canada, Dutch Guiana (Surinam), India, and The Netherlands. The film was also shown in the British Isles (England, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, and Scotland) and Ireland under the title For You Alone. Elsewhere, this motion picture was known to have been shown under other-language titles including Sérénade (Belgium); Prelúdio de Amor (Brazil); Když vy jste v lásce (Czechoslovakia); Serenade (Denmark); Rakastuessa (Finland); Le Cœur en fête (France); Amanti di domani (Italy); Preludio de amor (Mexico); Als je verliefd bent (The Netherlands); Forelsket (Norway); Kiedy jestes zakochana (Poland); Prelúdio de Amor (Portugal); Preludio de amor (Spain); and När man är kär (Sweden).

The film is extant. It was released on VHS in the 1980s. On May 6, 2016 getTV aired a recently restored version of the film which ran 110 minutes.

— “When You’re in Love Opens at the Music Hall” by Frank S. Nugent (New York Times, February 19, 1937)
— “Grace Moore Personality Glows in Her Latest Film” by Mae Tinee (Chicago Tribune, March 14, 1937)

TRIVIA: about the film

— Grace Moore (1898–1947) was an American operatic soprano and actress in musical theatre and film. She was nicknamed the “Tennessee Nightingale.” During her sixteen seasons with the Metropolitan Opera, she sang in several Italian and French operas as well as the title roles in Tosca, Manon, and Louise. Louise was her favorite opera and is widely considered to have been her greatest role. Attracted to Hollywood in the early years of talking pictures, Moore’s first screen role was as Jenny Lind in the 1930 MGM film A Lady’s Morals. Later that same year she starred with the Metropolitan Opera singer Lawrence Tibbett in New Moon, also for MGM. After a hiatus of several years, Moore returned to Hollywood under contract to Columbia Pictures, for whom she made six films. In the 1934 film One Night of Love, she portrayed a small-town girl who aspires to sing opera. For that role she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The last film that Moore made was Louise (1939), an abridged version of Gustave Charpentier’s opera of the same name, with spoken dialog in place of some of the original opera’s music. The composer participated in the production, authorizing the cuts and changes to the libretto, coaching Moore, and advising director Abel Gance. Moore is credited with helping bring opera to a larger audience through her popular films. Moore died in a plane crash near Copenhagen’s airport on January 26, 1947, at the age of 48. Moore’s life story was made into a movie, So This Is Love, in 1953.

— The working title for the film was Interlude. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Harry Lachman directed along with Robert Riskin, though the latter received sole credit.

— The music in the film included “Serenade” by Franz Schubert, as well as “Siboney” (in Spanish), music and lyrics by Dolly Morse and Eernest Lecuona; “The Waltz Song” from Roméo and Juliet , music by Charles Gounod, libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré; “In the Gloaming,” music and lyrics by Meta Orred and Annie F. Harrison; “The Whistling Boy” and “Our Song,” music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Dorothy Fields; “Minnie the Moocher,” music by Cab Calloway, lyrics by Irving Mills and Clarence Gaskill, arranged by Al Siegel.

— In the film, Moore sings “Siboney“. Xavier Cugat’s version of “Siboney” was recommended by Brooks in her self-published booklet, The Fundamentals of Good Ballroom Dancing.

— In critiquing Grace Moore, the New York Times wrote “Her rendition of “Serenade” is delightful; so is her singing of the waltz aria from “Romeo and Juliet” and of Harrison’s old favorite, “In the Gloaming.” The recording implements were less kind in at least two of the Kern interludes, diluting her voice to the point of thinness in the “Whistling Boy” song and in certain phases of the “Our Song” number. . . . The comic highlight of the production, naturally, is her energetic interpretation of Mr. Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher,” with gestures and a wealth of hi-de-ho’s.”

— The New York Times also noted that the lyrics of Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher” had been censored, writing “we did notice that the censors took out the reference to the King of Sweden who gave Minnie whatever she was needin’. Now it’s the King of Rythmania, who filled her full of vintage champagnia.” Although Daily Variety noted that preview audiences enjoyed Moore’s swing rendition of the classic song, it was not included in the general release print.