New Moon is the name of the ship crossing the Caspian Sea. A young Lt. Petroff meets the Princess Tanya and they have a ship board romance. Upon arriving at the port of Krasnov, Petroff ... See full summary »
New Moon is the name of the ship crossing the Caspian Sea. A young Lt. Petroff meets the Princess Tanya and they have a ship board romance. Upon arriving at the port of Krasnov, Petroff learns that Tanya is engaged to the old Governor Brusiloff. Petroff, disillusioned, crashes the ball to talk with Tanya. Found by Brusiloff, they invent a story about her lost bracelet. To reward him, and remove him, Brusiloff sends Petroff to the remote, and deadly, Fort Darvaz. Soon, the big battle against overwhelming odds will begin. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
MGM scrapped the ridiculous plot of the 1928 Romberg-Hammerstein stage operetta and replaced it with an even more ridiculous one, with Russian lieutenant Lawrence Tibbett romancing Princess Grace Moore despite her engagement to nobleman Adolphe Menjou. It's the sort of movie where characters say things like, "The one attractive woman on this ship and she would be a princess!" And Moore isn't especially attractive; she's dowdy, looks oddly at the camera, and is got up in some genuinely bizarre MGM fashions. Her character is shrewish, too, so when Menjou dispatches Tibbett to some remote outpost to battle some menacing, vaguely Turkish insurgents, you really feel he's better off without her. An eternally suave and amusing Roland Young defuses some of the operetta silliness; but it's hard not to get the giggles when Tibbett, trying to rouse the troops, barks endless song cues -- "All right, can I have 20 brave men with me? Fifteen? How about 10?" -- before launching into "Stout-Hearted Men." The climactic battle is clumsily shot and unconvincingly run in fast motion, like a Mack Sennett comedy, and it's never really in doubt whether Tibbett will return to Moore in one piece (singing full-voice, of course, whatever his wounds). The ludicrous conventions that killed operetta are omnipresent. But the score's good, and the two opera-trained stars do give enthusiastically of themselves when called on to sing. That's what counts.
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