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 »
In 19th century Russia,the idealistic officer Chernov is appointed chief of the Imperial Guard by the Empress Catherine the Great and navigates between the diplomacy of Grand Chancellor Nicolai Liyitch and the plots of the generals.
Because the Baron of Chanterelle wants to preserve his family line, he forces his timid nephew Lancelot to choose one of the village maidens to wed. Lancelot flees to a monastery to escape ... 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
The song "Beyond the Blue Horizon," introduced here, became Jeanette MacDonald's theme song for the rest of her life. During World War Ii she changed the line, "Beyond the blue horizon lies the rising sun" to " ... lies the shining sun" because the Rising Sun was the symbol of America's enemy, Japan. See more »
When Rudolph is leaving the Countess's boudoir after kissing her and depositing her on the chaise-lounge, the shadow of the microphone boom can be seen on the door. See more »
Countess Helene Mara:
oh, oh, oh, oh... ohohohoo... that feels good... oh,oh... that feels even better... you must have electricity in your hands. I've never felt like this before! Gorgeous!
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This was Jeanette Macdonald's 4th film in all and 2nd for director Ernst Lubitsch both getting into their sound-stride and both with many classics still ahead of them, after all their lives had only begun. Print quality on the DVD is marvellous for a 1930 film, making me wonder why it was never shown on UK TV in the days when they used to cater for people like me.
In the gambling dens of Monte Carlo Countess Jeanette pretends to be rich when she's poor and the guy who fancies her, Count Jack, pretends to be poor when he's rich so as to be her hairdresser. Later famous variations in Paramount films were with Chevalier as her (nothing but a) tailor unintentionally masquerading as a Baron in Love Me Tonight directed by Mamoulian and the fake Baron and Countess in the sublime Trouble In Paradise directed by Lubitsch. The story goes in a few unexpected directions but ultimately all's well that ends well this was the Golden Age of course. Out of the seven songs only Beyond The Blue Horizon and Always In All Ways were truly memorable, but all were listenable to and pleasant. Zazu Pitts was as sadly underused as Jeanette's maid as was Barbara Leonard as Mitzi's in One Hour With You and Jack Buchanan managed to keep it a dark secret why he was such a big star; the film only lost a little momentum at the opera but overall everything worked well. The sets and costumes were relentlessly beautiful in fact an extremely colourful black and white. Jeanette looked radiant with her gorgeous hair Roll Over Madonna!
A lovely little film and a window on 1930 it's not a classic but it was another building block for those to come from Paramount in the next few years.
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