6.1/10
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8 user 5 critic

The Big Pond (1930)

A tour guide in Venice romances a visiting American tourist whose father owns a chewing-gum factory back in the U.S. She sets out to convince her skeptical father to bring the tour guide to America and give him a job in the plant.

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(story), (play) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Pierre Mirande
...
Barbara Billings
...
Mr. Billings
Marion Ballou ...
Mrs. Billings
Andrée Corday ...
Toinette
Frank Lyon ...
Ronnie
...
Elaine Koch ...
Jennie
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Storyline

A tour guide in Venice romances a visiting American tourist whose father owns a chewing-gum factory back in the U.S. She sets out to convince her skeptical father to bring the tour guide to America and give him a job in the plant.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

3 May 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran charco  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(MovieTone)| (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of La grande mare (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight
Written by Al Sherman and Al Lewis
Sung by Maurice Chevalier
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User Reviews

 
Early talkie Chevalier is absolutely charming
6 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I apparently liked this one more than most people, and I thought it was a thoroughly charming romantic comedy. I see that Preston Sturges was a writer on this one and his touch shows. Chevalier plays Pierre, a guide of rather noble background whose family lost their money in the first World War. Barbara (Claudette Colbert), the rather spoiled daughter of the wealthy Billings family, falls for Pierre during the family's European vacation. When her father first finds out that Barbara wants to marry this man, he explodes. But then he reconsiders. He figures his best option is to take Barbara's side, take Pierre back to America with them, put him to work in the family business - they make chewing gum , and show Barbara that he could never fit in.

So this boils down to your basic fish out of water story, but Pierre is a very sincere and charming Gallic guppy. In America he wins over everyone from his rooming house landlady who also happens to be French to his gruff coworker (Nat Pendleton) who was instructed to "give Pierre the business" by Mr. Billings but lightens up after he just can't help liking the guy.

However, Pierre's blessings - his quick wit and likability - are also a curse. His reluctant father-in-law to be soon finds Pierre quite the idea man and pretty soon Pierre has worked himself up from hard physical labor to a nice job and a nice office to match. This has him spending much time at work, neglecting Barbara, and even turning his love song to Barbara into a chewing gum jingle much to Barbara's dislike. Will things work out for Pierre and Barbara? Watch and find out.

Chevalier is pretty much the whole show in this one since it really is Pierre's story - Claudette Colbert is not given that much to do. Maybe that's a good thing since she is playing a very spoiled girl that must think the money with which she parties is heaven sent since she is so opposed to the men in her life working long hours and upsetting her social calendar. But this is a comedy, so her excesses and shortcomings are not explored here. The song "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me" gets reprised to the point of excess, but still it manages to not wear out its welcome.


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