The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52 0f the taxes) has left for Paris So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her ... See full summary »
Edward Everett Horton
When Parisienne tailor Maurice Courtelin learns that one of his aristocratic clients, the Viscount Gilbert de Varèze, is a deadbeat who never pays for the merchandise he acquires, he heads off to try and collect what is owed to him. He gets little in the way of cash from the Viscount who is desperate that his uncle, the Duke D'Artelines not learn of his debts. He suggests that Maurice spend a little time at the chateau until the money can be found. The Duke takes an immediate liking to Maurice - who's been introduced as a Baron - but that's not the case for the Princess Jeanette who, after an encounter with him him on the road earlier that day. Over time Jeannette falls in love with him Written by
Looking for the fees owed him by an eccentric nobleman, a Parisian tailor arrives at the country château of a lovely, lonely princess.
Blending wonderful music, witty words and first-rate performances, director Rouben Mamoulian created in LOVE ME TONIGHT a superlative concoction which will delight any discriminating aficionado of early movie musicals. With remarkable naturalism & refinement, Mamoulian weaves the songs into the fabric of the film, managing to highlight the best of them with great gusto, while still displaying some delicate touches of his own. The opening sequence of an awakening Paris and the gradual orchestration of sounds, followed immediately by the integration of the first song into a quick walk along a busy street, is a case in point. The viewer knows instantly that the director is in charge and has everything well in hand--which leads to one's wondering what kind of a Land of Oz Paramount Studios must have been in the early 1930's with both Mamoulian and Ernest Lubitsch working on the lot...
Maurice Chevalier exudes Gallic joie de vivre as the honest tailor whose extraordinary charm & talent beguiles a bevy of blue bloods. Effortlessly dominating his every scene, he exhibits the over-sized personality which put him into the rarefied stratum of the top performers (Baker, Coward, Robeson) of his generation. Lovely Jeanette MacDonald once again is the perfect romantic partner for Chevalier. A fine actress as well as an excellent singer, she throws herself into the film's farcical atmosphere and lends her celebrated voice to the musical proceedings.
Jeanette's château is populated by a gaggle of expert character performers: stern old Sir C. Aubrey Smith as the ducal head of the house; gently daffy Charlie Ruggles as an improvident vicomte; elegant Myrna Loy as a young amorous countess; and Elizabeth Patterson, Ethel Griffies & Blanche Frederici as the Aunties--slyly depicted as either a trio of benevolent witches or a pack of excited puppies. Soft-spoken Charles Butterworth plays the timid count who wishes to marry Miss MacDonald. Joseph Cawthorn is the no-nonsense family doctor. Rotund Robert Greig portrays the château's imposing major-domo.
Movie mavens will recognize sour-faced Clarence Wilson as a shirtmaker; Ethel Wales as a temperamental dressmaker; and Edgar Norton as a valet--all uncredited.
Except for the sadly vulgar--albeit tongue-in-cheek--apache tune, the rest of Rodgers & Hart's music is very entertaining, especially the two most famous numbers: 'Isn't It Romantic' (begun in Paris by Chevalier, and traveling by taxi, train, marching soldiers and gypsies it eventually reaches MacDonald on her balcony) and 'Mimi,' sung first by Maurice to Jeanette, but eventually echoed, hilariously, by many of the inhabitants of the château).
Sumptuous production values and costumes by Edith Head add greatly to the film's overall quality.
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