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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>
According to contemporary newspaper advertisements, this film and Ex-Bad Boy (1931) played on a double in some theaters in early 1932. See more »
Your kisses are divine. Your kisses... Potter?
Who said that?
Why, it, eh, it was the red haired lady who swooned when we kissed her, sir.
Ah, yes! She swooned.
Yes, sir, she swooned.
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"The Great Lover" has been described by reviewers here as "an opera story" without much story. Although the film takes place in and around opera, I consider it to be about theater. As talkies took the place of silent films, it was natural for filmmakers to look to the stage for great stories. "The Great Lover" may not be a theater classic, but it has a classic story and is written as many of the great plays are--with s simple theme and writing that requires great actors to fill in the spaces between the lines with emotional subtlety. Aldolphe Menjou--as the womanizing opera star Jean Paurel--does a terrific job of conveying each emotional note of his role.
He is aided by Ernest Torrence, who plays Potter, his manservant. Torrence is a delightful actor with great range, whose career would be tragically cut short a few years later. His talents gave him success in both silent films and talkies.
The primary object of Paurel's affections is Diana (Irene Dunne). He woos her like every other woman, then finds she is more to him. Through his passions for her and music, he discovers another side to himself even as he recognizes his true nature.
Though described as a drama, "The Great Lover" feels more like a comedy to me, with elements of many of the basic comedy forms.
While it is not a great film, I thoroughly enjoyed the direction and acting required to make its characters understandable and engaging.
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