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Jean Paurel is a womanizing opera star, who agrees to help Diana Page her career in order to take advantage of her. But instead he finds falling in love with her. To complicate matters, Jean's understudy turns out to be Diana's old flame, and tries to rekindle their relationship. Written by
Robert Tonsing <email@example.com>
Back in those early days of sound all the studios bought up whatever they could in the way of scripts. The Great Lover had been a play produced on Broadway by George M. Cohan and Sam Harris back during World War I years, but as the background is opera you will not hear a note of Cohan's in the story.
As those early sound days also brought a glut of musical films MGM had Irene Dunne playing a young opera ingenue who falls under the spell of womanizing opera star Adolph Menjou. Menjou certainly has his share of opera groupies as we see in the film. But he falls for her and has a hand in bringing her career along just as his is going into decline. A little bit of Maytime is also present here.
More than just a few elements of the many versions of A Star Is Born are found in The Great Lover. Also here is Neil Hamilton a young opera singer also interested in Dunne and the great Olga Baclanova from the Russian Art Theater. Only Dunne needed no dubbing for her part.
An interesting old chestnut, I doubt we'll see a remake though.
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