The Cuban Love Song ★★★½

While his naval vessel is in port, Marine Lawrence Tibbett falls in love with beautiful, earthy, peanut seller Lupe Velez. Tibbett leaves her when the Marines are sent to Europe at the start of WWI. Sent home severely wounded, Tibbett marries his long time love Karen Morley who has nursed him since his return. Ten years later, Tibbett, who has never forgotten Velez, returns to Cuba to find her. She has died, but he meets their son and takes him home to the faithfully loving Morley.

Musicals were extremely popular during the first years of talking pictures. MGM signed Lawrence Tibbett, well-known operatic baritone, and attempted to make him a star. He made four films for the studio. The first film, Rogue Song (1930), was a success (at least in part due to the inclusion of Laurel and Hardy in the cast), but the other three did not do well at the box office. Tibbett was not signed to another contract.

Full prints of Rogue Song are not known to exist, but the other Tibbett musicals can be viewed with pleasure and interest. The films confirm that he was a great singer with a beautiful, expressive voice. His acting is pretty good and his nice, pleasant personality projects itself.

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