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You Made Me Love You (1933)


Main image of You Made Me Love You (1933)
DirectorMonty Banks
Production CompanyBritish International Pictures
Story byStanley Lupino
ScriptFrank Launder
PhotographyJack Cox

Stanley Lupino (Tom Daly); Thelma Todd (Pamela Berne); John Loder (Harry Berne); Gerald Rawlinson (Jerry); James Carew (Oliver Berne)

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The Taming of the Shrew updated: a songwriter tries to woo the woman of his dreams despite the slight drawback that she can't stand the sight of him.

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Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew was given three comic updates in the 1930s - the first as a segment in the portmanteau film Elstree Calling (1930), the third as the Tom Walls comedy Second Best Bed (1938), and in between came this amiable light comedy vehicle, scripted by the young Frank Launder as a vehicle for the imported Hollywood actress Thelma Todd (who had previously appeared as a memorable foil to the Marx Brothers in two of their films).

The plot loosely follows Shakespeare's, with Todd's spoilt heiress Pamela Berne being married off by a grateful father to the first suitor who crosses his threshold. He's smitten with her but she can't stand him, and all his efforts - which mostly take the form of rather sadistic practical jokes - come to nothing as she's determined to get her own way. Only the threat of divorce has any impact, as she realises that it means losing the one man who genuinely claims to love her.

The male lead was played by Stanley Lupino (1893-1942), whose main claim to fame is as the father of the rather better-known Ida. He's pleasant enough in this, in a part that's not exactly demanding, segueing reasonably convincingly between lovesick puppy and cunning schemer with the occasional song-and-dance break. Crucially, he's a very effective sparring partner for Todd, ensuring that plenty of sparks fly whenever they're on screen together - though the ending is disappointingly perfunctory considering the sound and fury of the build-up.

Not really a musical (the numbers are kept to a minimum, and presented in a scrupulously "realistic" context where the source is a radio broadcast or gramophone record) and even less a particularly insightful adaptation of Shakespeare (the play provides basic plot inspiration, little else), You Made Me Love You is watchable enough as an example of early 1930s British light comedy: fluffy, frothy and utterly insubstantial, but short enough to ensure that it never outstays its welcome.

Michael Brooke

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Video Clips
1. What a girl! (6:02)
2. Wedded bliss (6:00)
Behind the scenes stills
Production stills
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The Taming of the Shrew On Screen