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Based on The Tinted Venus by F. Anstey
Modern art collector Whitelaw Savory unearths a long-lost statue of Venus of Anatolia and is thrilled to display her in his New York museum. But when a naïve young barber named Rodney unwittingly brings the statue to life, Venus fixes her affections on him and pursues him all over New York. Rodney’s shrewish fiancée doesn’t like this one bit, and Savory will do anything—including framing Rodney for murder—to recover his beloved statue. Rodney keeps trying to set things right, and poor Venus can’t understand why he doesn’t respond to her seductions. After a series of comic setups and mix ups involving a couple of thugs, a nagging mother, a wisecracking secretary, some ancient Anatolians and a good dose of Olympian magic, earthly order is restored and new love found.
An earlier version, based on the same story but titled One Man's Venus, with book by Bella Spewack was offered to Marlene Dietrich. She made various constructive criticisms which were discussed with Spewack, who then withdrew from the project. Operetta and Victorian London were changed to modern New York in a new book by S. J. Perelman to become One Touch of Venus. Ogden Nash had finished the lyrics to five songs for the earlier version, but no music is known to have been written for them. The titles for the first version are: "Earthbound," "The Fates," "Flash Rounds," "Fresh Air and Exercise" (there were two versions of this lyric), and "If I Could Find Another Rhyme for Love."