I Live for Love (1935)
Directed by Busby Berkeley this average B (comedy musical romance) movie’s story and screenplay were written by Robert Andrews Julius Epstein and Jerry Wald. It features tenor Everett Marshall (in his second and last film) as a street singer who shows up at a theater at just the right time looking for work. The theater manager (Berton Churchill) and his assistant (the recognizable Hobart Cavanaugh) are trying to break up a romance between South America’s greatest actress played by Dolores del Rio and her fellow countryman but terrible actor Rico (Don Alvarado) in order to produce a successful play. Marshall gets hired for the job instead though conflicts between Ms. del Rio and he cause him to exit after 3 weeks of rehearsals leaving the managers no choice but to use Rico. Marshall promptly becomes so successful singing on the street that he lands a job in radio helping to sell Henderson soap. Mr. Henderson is played by Guy Kibbee. And though we never see how it happened popular sidekick actor Allen Jenkins suddenly appears as Marshall’s agent.
The next thing you know for publicity Marshall is asked to introduce Ms. del Rio to his radio audience on the night of her play’s premiere. She does not know until she arrives at the studio that the famous tenor and the actor she had fired are one in the same. Let the fireworks and upstaging begin. For some reason Marshall decides to attend the premiere which he and his sidekick inadvertently disrupt but the play is a disaster anyway due to Rico’s lack of acting ability. When Marshall tries to make amends and apologize the fireworks continue. But through a series of comic events and upon cancellation of the play del Rio is forced to accept a job opposite Marshall on the radio with the theater managers now acting as agents for Ms. del Rio.
The managers convince “money bag” Kibbee that a plot-line which involves Marshall and del Rio becoming more than just friends is just the ticket for higher ratings. They figure out a way to get rid of Rico and eventually the two become victims of their own false publicity and actually do fall in love. However just as they decide to get married the managers and Jenkins (still acting as Marshall’s agent) have decided that the plot-line should change to one of conflict again for higher ratings. When Rico is brought back into the picture their wish plays out in the actors’ lives as well. But never fear all will be solved with a happy ending in this quick song laden film which runs barely an hour.