Series: Feature

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Producer: Milton H. Bren
Executive producer: Hal Roach
Screenplay: Eddie Moran, Jack Jevne
Photography: Norbert Brodine
Editor: William H. Terhune
Sound: Warren B. Delaplain, William Randall

Stars: Fredric March, Virginia Bruce, Patsy Kelly, Alan Mowbray, Nancy Carroll, Eugene Pallette, Claude Gillingwater, Arthur Lake, Etienne Girardot, Robert Armstrong
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 06 October 1938
Length: 9 reels
Production No.: F-21
Filming dates: 1938
Rating: 5/10

There Goes My Heart
On board a luxury boat, an elderly grandfather (Claude Gillingwater) tells his rich heiress grandaughter Joan (Virginia Bruce) that she is "spoiled and ungrateful" and that she is to stay aboard the boat until he returns from a business trip to London.  No sooner is his back turned, she gives the order for her boat to sail to New York despite the captain's reluctance. When the grandfather finds out about his grandaughter's reckless behaviour he enquires about having her arrested for stealing the boat (even though she owns it!)
A newspaper publisher (Eugene Pallette)  picks up the story and sends his best writer Bill Spencer (Fredric March) to write the story.  Bill, along with is attitude, takes his photographer and boards Joan's boat the next morning.  Armed only with a photograph of Joan as a child, the reporters mistaken her for the maid as Joan makes her exit on a speedboat. Both men end up overboard when they get tangled up in an argument with a sailor on board.
Back in the office there is some explaining to do with the boss, who isn't happy. In New York, Joan has arrived at a diner and immediately gets into an argument with a waiter when excitable customer Peggy O'Brien (Patsy Kelly) loses her beef stew.
Peggy screams her way through the meal whilst engaging in chit-chat with new friend Joan. Peggy is surprised that the rich girl with the fur coat has to struggle to pay for her food. "Honey the nearest I can get to a coat like that is petting my cat!", Peggy jokingly remarks before inviting Joan back to her apartment. It's typical witty, fast-talking, wise-cracking Patsy Kelly in tremendous form for the next couple of minutes before her real flat-mate Dorothy (Nancy Carroll) comes home and isn't best pleased with the extra guest before storming off out again. Peggy gets friendly with Joan and tells her she will ask her boss if there is a job going spare at Butterfields.
The next day as Peggy is comically demonstrating some merchandise, Joan has to deal with a tricky customer who has come in to buy a fireless cooker, but Joan loses the sale when she gets greedy by pushing the lady into buying more than she came in for. After the boss (Irving Bacon) employs Joan, the reporter appears in the store and begins questioning Peggy for his piece he is writing. Bill sees his subject (Joan) in the store and asks a camera clerk to casually take some photos of the girl behind the counter. Bill cheekily buys the roll of film from the clerk then takes it back to the office before meeting up with Peggy for a date.
After an uncomfortable cab ride back to the girls' apartment the reporter is booted out when he cannot pay the fare. Another disagreement and another cab ride later and Joan agrees to have dinner with Bill at Peggy's apartment. Whilst they are preparing the dinner the electricity meter runs out and improvisation is required. The girls plug their lamp into a dentists' neon flashing sign outside of the window, and then a delicatessen sign at the front of the building. Bill arrives to complete chaos and instead opts to take Joan out to an ice-skating rink.
A games of musical chairs on ice takes place with everybody falling over themselves in an attempt to win. In a well-choreographed conclusion to the game, it is Joan who is declared the winner. She is presented with a goldfish bowl (with fish) and has to skate off the ice rink whilst holding it. She takes Bill back to the apartment where they walk up onto the roof of the building to admire the night view. A sudden flash of lightning is all it takes for Joan to leap into Bill's arms for comfort. In an increasingly mushy, over-acted scene, Bill does the same when a second flash of lightning lights up the sky. When Bill gets back to the office to write up the story, he begins to have a conscience about writing about the girl he is now seemingly falling in love with.
The next day at the store Joan accidentally leaves her watch in the ladies washroom and it is discovered by Dorothy, who confirms her suspcions of Joan's real identity to the manager. Dorothy takes the watch to Joan's anxious grandfather and tells him that Joan is working in his store in New York. Peggy confornts Joan in the store and Joan tells her this is the first time in her life she has found freedom before Bill arrives to whisk Joan away to a desert island. Whilst there she makes him dinner and they talk through the night until next morning when she goes to wake him up and finds him gone.
Bill shows up at his office to find his boss less than happy with his reliability. Bill tells his he is not running the story on Joan because he doesn't want to hurt her feelings and rips up the report, but the editor pieces it back together again and prints the story. When Joan reads it she ends the relationship with Bill. Bill returns to the office where he drowns his sorrows with his photographer and the editor. Word reaches Peggy and she decides to send telegrams to Joan and Bill pretending that each of them has written to the other in an attempt to reconcile their friendships. Bill and Joan meet at the island where they receive a surprise visit from a minister (Harry Langdon), who, after some stiffness from the couple, marries them.

Favourite bit
Some delightful scenes to choose from: Patsy Kelly is tremendous throughout; the surprise appearance of Harry Langdon in the final scene; but I liked the ice-skating sequence because it looks real, fun and legitimate.

Copyrighted October 6, 1938.
Oscar nominated for Best Original Score.
Peggy pays $6 rent.
The device Peggy demonstrates for the customers at the store is the Vibrato.
The advert in the paper says the fireless cookers retail for $4.95. That's approximately 81 dollars in today's money.
The camera salesman says the camera he operates sells for $175. That would be $2,853.61 in 2015 money.
The cab fare for the two girls and the reporter comes to $1.60.
Peggy tells Joan to lean out of the window and plug the lamp into the neon sign, telling her that Joan is "longer than I am". In reality, Virginia Bruce was 5'6" to Patsy Kelly's 5'4" - a difference of only two inches.
A lot of the stuff that takes place on the ice rink looks genuine and unscripted.
Seriously, what kind of common sense does it take to present a goldfish bowl as a prize to the ice skating game and make the winner skate off the rink whilst holding it?
At around 63 minutes into the film when Bill takes Joan to "Sand Island", there is a distinct echo in the dialogue which would indicate the scene was shot on a stage. The acoustics of the actors voices would not have sounded that way in the open air. The same goes for the scene when Bill is being transported by boat to his island with the marriage license later on.
When Joan finds Bill's note under the canoe she reads it aloud. Who does that?
Stuntwomam Loretta Rush doubled Virginia Bruce in at least the very end of the skating sequence (when the chair skids under her).
My opinion
Not bad. Some really enjoyable sequences, particularly featuring Patsy Kelly, who is on top form here.

Fredric March
William (Bill) Z. Spencer
Virginia Bruce
Joan Butterfield
Patsy Kelly
Peggy O'Brien
Alan Mowbray
Pennypepper E. Pennypepper
Nancy Carroll
Dorothy Moore
Eugene Pallette
William Stevens, editor
Claude Gillingwater
Cyrus W. Butterfield
Arthur Lake
Flash Fisher
Etienne Girardot
Hinkley, secretary
Irving Bacon
Mr. Dobbs
J. Farrell MacDonald
William B. Davidson
Hal K. Dawson
Camera salesman
Eddie Dunn
Norman, cab driver
Adia Kuznetzoff
Second mate on yacht
Harry Langdon
Tommy Mack
Café manager
Marjorie Main
Fireless cooker customer
Billy Wayne
First taxicab driver
Greta Granstedt
Thelda (Joan's Swedish maid)
Jack Hill
Man at ice rink
Robert Armstrong
Detective O'Brien
Irving Pichel
Mr. Gorman
Syd Saylor
Ernie Adams
Cafe counterman
Charles Anthony Hughes
Ralph Brooks
Cafe customer
Horace G. Brown
Ice skater
George Burton
Eddy Chandler
George Chandler
Bill Clark
Rosanne Coyle
Jack Egan
Jinx Falkenburg
June Glory
Kirby Grant
Lloyd Ingraham
Silent banker
Marjorie Kane
Pat Lane
Sailor at launch
Harry Lang
Anna Luther
Philip Morris
Small boat captain
Nat Nealon
Moroni Olsen
Norman Phillips Jr.
Copy boy
Joe Ploski
Walter Ridge
Trick ice skater
Gwen Seager
Elaine Shepard
Amzie Strickland
Billy Taft
William Worthington
Silent banker

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

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Chris Bungo (help and assistance)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Jack Hill)
Lou Sabini & Zachary Switzer (helpful information)

This page was last updated on: 06 October 2023