Minutes before her wedding to Duke Otto Von Seibenheim, Countess Helene Mara flees, on a whim, to Monte Carlo, where she hopes her luck will save her poor financial state. There, Count ... See full summary »
The story takes place in medieval France. Poet-rogue Francois Villon, sentenced to hang by King Louis XI for writing derogatory verses about him, is offered a temporary reprieve. His ... See full summary »
Minutes before her wedding to Duke Otto Von Seibenheim, Countess Helene Mara flees, on a whim, to Monte Carlo, where she hopes her luck will save her poor financial state. There, Count Rudolph Farriere is taken by her beauty, but she rebuffs him, not even looking at him. Assuming the guise of a hairdresser, he finally succeeds in seeing her, night and morning. Sparks fly, and love ensues - but can she love a lowly hairdresser? As her finances worsen though, the Duke arrives, and his money and social status seem even more enticing. Shunning Rudolph, will her story follow the operatic "unhappy ending", or can she have it all? Written by
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 »
Jeanette MacDonald is referred to as a blonde early on in the dialogue. She was actually a redhead, and no attempt was made to lighten her hair to make her look blonde. Her hair photographed the dark grey red hair usually reproduced as on the black-and-white film used in 1930. See more »
I agree with mgmax, this is a rare Lubitsch dud...
In the 1930s and 40s, the German comedian/director Ernst Lubitsch came to Hollywood and made a succession of wonderful movies--movies that had such artistry that they were said to have 'the Lubitsch touch'. However, despite marvelous films like "The Smiling Lieutenant", "Trouble in Paradise" and "Ninotchka", he did make an occasional dud--as "Monte Carlo" is a very tough film to enjoy. There are many reasons the film fails--though Lubitsch's direction and style is still a plus in this movie--it is lovely to look at and is a pretty movie. But, there are so many problems that mar anyone enjoying it--especially here in the 21st century. The biggest problem is perhaps the singing. While Jeanette MacDonald was a huge star in her day, her songs in this film are just dreadful and there is just too much singing--and not the cute or pleasant singing but warbling that hurts your ears. The other problems are the male leads. Claud Allister is cast as Jeanette's fiancé--but he appears to be a homosexual and the idea of their marriage seems ridiculous. So of course Jeanette breaks the engagement--but the idea of there even being an engagement in the first place makes no sense. As for the main male lead, Jack Buchanan, he simply is a dull looking man who seems like he isn't up to the task of playing a romantic male lead. Mgmax's review compared his looks to Paul Muni (not exactly romantic leading man material) and I would say that this is true--but Buchanan is even less suited for this sort of role. And finally, the whole plot about a penniless lady living above her means and trying to find a way out of her financial difficulties is hard to enjoy--and Jeanette just seems, at times, shallow--particularly when this was made during the Depression. Trials and tribulations of a pampered countess who wants to find a rich husband is a plot who probably found little resonance with the audiences of the day! Overall, while the film has moments, the overall package isn't particularly enjoyable and seems easy to skip. You just wouldn't expect that from one of Lubitsch's American films...but it's true.
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