IMDb > Monte Carlo (1930)
Monte Carlo
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Monte Carlo (1930) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

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6.9/10   736 votes »
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Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Hans Müller (play)
Booth Tarkington (novel) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Monte Carlo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 August 1930 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
As intimate as a lady's boudoir! (original window card poster) See more »
Plot:
Minutes before her wedding to Duke Otto Von Seibenheim, Countess Helene Mara flees, on a whim, to Monte Carlo... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
"Kilometre Zero," "Lubitsch Musicals"
 (From IFC. 4 March 2008, 4:00 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Where's Maurice Chevalier when you need him? See more (28 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Jack Buchanan ... Count Rudolph Falliere / Rudy the Hairdresser

Jeanette MacDonald ... Countess Helene Mara
Claud Allister ... Prince Otto von Liebenheim

Zasu Pitts ... Bertha
Tyler Brooke ... Armand
John Roche ... Paul, the 'Real' Hairdresser
Lionel Belmore ... Duke Gustav von Liebenheim
Albert Conti ... Prince Otto's Companion / M.C
Helen Garden ... Lady Mary in Stage Opera
Donald Novis ... Monsieur Beaucaire in Stage Opera
Erik Bey ... Lord Windorset
David Percy ... Herald
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Max Barwyn ... Frenchman (uncredited)

Billy Bevan ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Hunchback at Casino (uncredited)
John Carroll ... Wedding Guest Officer (uncredited)
Frances Dee ... Receptionist (uncredited)
Geraldine Dvorak ... Casino Patron (uncredited)
Edgar Norton ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Rolfe Sedan ... Hairdresser (uncredited)
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Directed by
Ernst Lubitsch 
 
Writing credits
Hans Müller (play "The Blue Coast")

Booth Tarkington  novel "Monsieur Beaucaire" and
Evelyn Greenleaf Sutherland  play "Monsieur Beaucaire"

Ernest Vajda (adaptation)

Vincent Lawrence (additional dialogue)

Produced by
Ernst Lubitsch .... producer
 
Original Music by
W. Franke Harling 
Karl Hajos (uncredited)
Herman Hand (uncredited)
Sigmund Krumgold (uncredited)
John Leipold (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Victor Milner 
 
Film Editing by
Merrill G. White 
 
Costume Design by
Travis Banton (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Harry D. Mills .... sound recording engineer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Lucien Ballard .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
90 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Boom mic visible: 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 »
Quotes:
Prince Otto Von Seibenheim:I am glad that your hairdresser...
Countess Helene Mara:Please don't mention him. I don't wanna hear another word about hair or hairdresser. What's the opera about?... I asked you what the opera is about?
Prince Otto Von Seibenheim:It's er... all about a hairdresser but I... I can't help it. I didn't write it.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Beyond The Blue HorizonSee more »

FAQ

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Where's Maurice Chevalier when you need him?, 25 March 2006
Author: wmorrow59 from Westchester County, NY

The first twenty minutes of Monte Carlo is so enjoyable and so promising that you might think you're watching one of Ernst Lubitsch's best musical comedies. The film kicks off with a highly amusing sequence at the palace of a silly aristocrat, where a wedding ceremony goes disastrously awry. First, the well-wishers are doused by a sudden rainfall (as we see a banner proclaiming "Happy is the Bride the Sun Shines On") and the members of the processional are forced to switch from a stately march to a mad scramble into the church. Then the groom is informed that his intended bride has fled; and we learn that this is the third time she has done so. The groom's father insists that the wedding gifts will not be returned, and sends his son out to calm the guests. The groom, Otto, is played by Claude Allister, a bizarre-looking character actor who specialized in playing silly ass Englishmen. Otto treats the crowd to a song assuring them that he'll retrieve his bride and that "She'll Love Me and Like It!" This number is hilarious, and whets our appetites for more.

Next we meet the runaway bride herself, Countess Helene (Jeanette MacDonald), who, with her maid (ZaSu Pitts) has hopped a train without even bothering to find out where it's going-- nor did she take the time, when fleeing, to dress in anything beyond her slip and a light jacket. Once in her compartment she quickly doffs the jacket. (Can you say "Pre-Code"?) After an amusing exchange with a train conductor played by former Sennett comedian Billy Bevan, Jeanette sets her course for Monte Carlo and then sits back in her compartment, gazes happily out the window, and sings the film's most famous song, "Beyond the Blue Horizon." This sequence is renowned among film buffs as one of the great musical numbers of the early talkie era, one that transcended the stage-bound conventions holding back other filmmakers. Here Lubitsch artfully combines a montage of traveling shots, the rhythmic sounds of the train, and the swelling strains of the orchestra and Jeanette MacDonald's voice to create a genuinely exhilarating number.

Unfortunately, once our Countess reaches Monte Carlo it marks the point where the movie itself has peaked. From here on, it steadily loses momentum and never again regains the propulsive cheer of those opening moments. I'm not entirely sure why the famed Lubitsch Touch faltered in this case, but in my opinion the biggest single factor hurting the movie was the casting of Jack Buchanan in the male lead. Buchanan was a popular stage star in London but he didn't make it as a Hollywood star, and his performance in this film demonstrates why. To put it bluntly, the man is an oddball: spindly, toothy, nasal-voiced and entirely too pleased with himself to score a hit as an appealing leading man. I think Buchanan must have been one of those performers like George M. Cohan or Fanny Brice whose stage magnetism didn't translate into movie stardom-- at least, not in this sort of role. He's ideal as the pompous stage director in The Band Wagon (1953), but that's an older, mellower Jack Buchanan in a funny character turn. Here, he's pretty hard to take, and none of his songs are as memorable or as cleverly staged as Jeanette's "Beyond the Blue Horizon." (And strangely, although he was known in England for his dancing, he has no dance numbers at all.) Instead, Buchanan is given the film's most campy, embarrassing song, a paean to barbering called "Trimmin' the Women," a number that looks like it escaped from the Celluloid Closet. Things get even worse later on when the plot calls for Buchanan to turn macho, and he gruffly orders Jeanette around, which is like watching Franklin Pangborn try to play a drill sergeant.

With no Maurice Chevalier to play opposite (and Nelson Eddy still waiting in the wings) Jeanette MacDonald is pretty much left to her own devices. She's charming, but can't carry the picture by herself. Still, even if she'd played opposite a different leading man Monte Carlo's verbal humor falls short in the later scenes. Lubitsch boosts the comedy quotient with some characteristic visual gags, cute bits involving missing boudoir keys and a church clock with mechanical musicians, which helps, but too many punch-lines fail to land, and too many scenes conclude on anti-climactic notes. Even ZaSu Pitts has to strain for laughs. I feel the director showed more assurance in this film's predecessor, his first talkie The Love Parade, which was boosted by Chevalier's high energy performance and some terrific supporting comics.

Fans of early musicals will want to catch the first two numbers here, but once you've gotten beyond that blue horizon and reached Monte Carlo you may want to bail. After the first twenty minutes or so this film will most likely be of interest only to Lubitsch buffs and Jeanette MacDonald fans.

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