Second Fiddle , Jimmy Sutton, tricky publicist for Consolidated Pictures, fetches teacher Trudi Hovland from snowy Minnesota to sunny Hollywood to test for the film of the best-seller “Girl of the North” – having come 436th in a competition several years earlier she is now next choice as leading lady. She gets the part, but despite his own growing attraction for her Jimmy deviously manufactures a romance between her and Roger Maxwell, a new star who desperately needs to pep-up his image.
musical Cyrano with a twist
Second Fiddle , Tyrone Power is a publicist who does his job too well in “Second Fiddle,” also starring Sonja Henie. Power plays Jimmy Sutton, who is helping in the search for a star of a movie being made from a best-selling book. This was perhaps inspired by the search for Scarlett. When they find their girl, she’s a Norwegian schoolteacher living in Minnesota. Power sets up a publicity stunt, which is a fake romance between her and another star (Rudy Vallee). He then is responsible for the flowers, the love poems, and finally writes her a song. By now, of course, he’s madly in love with her, and she’s in love with Rudy. This is much to the consternation of Rudy’s girlfriend, played by Mary Healy.
The two stars are delightful, but of course, some of the best lines are from Edna May Oliver, who is hilarious as Henie’s aunt. One line not Oliver’s that certainly got a laugh in theaters is from Henie to Power: “You’d be handsome if you took care of yourself.” He’s pretty dazzling as is.
The Irving Berlin music is okay, but I have to admit my favorite is “Back to Back” which I found lively and fun.
Though skating styles have changed a great deal over the last 66 years, Sonja Henie’s skating holds up. She was a graceful, fast skater who could dance and spin magnificently. Back then, the jumps were all singles and landed low, but it’s obvious that if she were a young skater today, she would still have what it takes.