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Toni Le Brun, a beautiful Viennese singer, becomes the ward of the wardrobe mistress of a Monte Carlo nightclub. Her benefactor, however, is actually a baroness incognito. Toni falls in love with the handsome Richard, but as they prepare to marry, she comes to believe he is only after the wealth accompanying her new noble status. But truth, like true love, will not be kept secret long. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Impoverished beauty Corinne Griffith (as Toni LeBrun) dreams of becoming a famous opera singer. After getting her diploma, Ms. Griffith is accepted for an audition in Budapest. She finds figures more interested in her beauty than her singing ability. Mannish Maude George (as Madame Bauer) demands Griffith, "Show me your legs", then hires her to sing at the "Palais de Paris". There, leering patrons, like Lowell Sherman (as Henri D'Avril), admire the female form. Griffith bonds with matronly worker Louise Dresser (as Rosa de Garcer), a down-on-her-luck Baroness. When Ms. Dresser's pension check comes in, she takes Griffith on a Cinderella-like adventure; and, she meets princely Charles Ray (as Richard Dupont).
Lewis Milestone (director), John Arnold (photographer), and William Cameron Menzies (designer) are responsible for some stunning, stylish work. Especially, savor Griffith's arrival at the squalid "Palais de Paris", early in the film. Later, watch for the scene with Griffith and Mr. Ray sitting at the grand piano, as the raised lid puts them in a beautiful, reflective "triangle".
Star Griffith receives a lavish, loving production. The cast is very entertaining, especially Dresser and Ms. George, who more often supported Erich von Stroheim. Ray seems a little uncomfortable at times; a decade earlier, he routinely offered superior performances. Although, the story is rather routine, it's nice to have "The Garden of Eden" around; thanks to "Flicker Alley".
****** The Garden of Eden (2/4/28) Lewis Milestone ~ Corinne Griffith, Charles Ray, Louise Dresser, Maude George
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