Sweet Adeline
Directed byMervyn LeRoy
Written byErwin S. Gelsey
Based onSweet Adeline
1929 musical
by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II
Produced byEdward Chodorov
StarringIrene Dunne
Donald Woods
CinematographySol Polito
Edited byRalph Dawson
Harold McLernon (uncredited)
Music byHeinz Roemheld (uncredited)
Distributed byWarner Bros. / The Vitaphone Corp.
Release date
  • December 29, 1934 (1934-12-29)
Running time
82-95 minutes
CountryUnited States

Sweet Adeline is a 1934 musical film adaptation of the 1929 Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II Broadway play of the same title. It stars Irene Dunne and Donald Woods and was directed by Mervyn LeRoy.


Sid Barnett, a young composer, is in love with Adeline Schmidt, the daughter of a beer garden owner, but her father Oscar dislikes him, preferring the Spanish-American War hero Major Day. Because Schmidt is completely opposed to show business, Adeline's sister Nellie runs away to New York, hoping to pursue a career as an actress. Adeline goes after her.

When Sid sees Adeline, he insists that she is the only one who can sing the songs in his new operetta. After she shows she has talent to the director, he agrees to replace Spanish actress Elysia. Because sponsor Rupert Rockingham will only finance the play if Elysia stars, Day steps in and offers to back the play with Adeline as the star. During rehearsals, Adeline and Sid quarrel, and she starts spending more time with Day. Meanwhile, Rockingham has discovered that Elysia is a spy. He plans to keep her identity secret because of his love for her, but Nellie convinces him that she is really the right woman for him. When Day proposes that Adeline become his mistress in return for his support of the play, she is insulted and announces that she will not go on stage after all. Sid pleads with her not to ruin his first operetta and she finally agrees, making Elysia very jealous. During the performance, Elysia injures Adeline seriously and the play closes. Adeline and Sid are still not speaking until during another rehearsal, director Dan Herzig teases them into kissing each other.



Music by Kern and lyrics by Hammerstein, unless otherwise indicated.


The New York Times critic Andre Sennwald panned the film, writing, "except for the lovely Kern-Hammerstein music and one or two blazing production numbers in the best Warner Brothers style of extravaganza, 'Sweet Adeline' appears to snore in dulcet measures".[1]


  1. ^ Andre Sennwald (January 7, 1935). "The Paramount Presents Irene Dunne in "Sweet Adeline"". The New York Times.