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Reviews & Ratings for
One Hour with You More at IMDbPro »

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24 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Or to be more precise: 1 hour & 20 minutes of pleasure

8/10
Author: wmorrow59 from Westchester County, NY
28 June 2003

The only thing wrong with this delightful movie is that it's been so hard to find on video or DVD over the years. Despite the ongoing fame of the stars and the director, even museum screenings are rare. I was lucky enough to see One Hour with You recently along with an earlier gem called The Smiling Lieutenant (1931), another saucy Pre-Code musical comedy starring Chevalier and directed by Lubitsch, and they complemented each other nicely. The earlier film is set primarily in a mythical kingdom, populated with the sort of uniformed dignitaries and nobles Lubitsch loved to send up, while One Hour with You takes place in contemporary Paris-- although "Paramount Paris" may be the more apt phrase. Production values are comparable, and the films even share a couple of supporting players in similar roles. Still, while both are highly enjoyable, I feel One Hour with You is the more satisfying film, and for me the main reason is that Chevalier's character is so much more sympathetic here.

The cheerful Chevalier of the early '30s is always interested in one thing only, and Lubitsch's slyly suggestive material leaves absolutely no doubt as to what it might be, but that doesn't mean his Gallic lover roles were all the same. Chevalier's Smiling Lieutenant is an arrogant skirt-chaser, as obsessively horny as Pepe Le Pew and equally convinced of his own irresistibility, while in One Hour with You our leading man is more the pursued than the pursuer, perhaps a little flustered by the chase, and frankly he's more likable when he's less sure of himself. Chevalier plays a prosperous doctor, happily married to Jeanette MacDonald. They share a stylish modern home and seem quite pleased with each other, but when Jeanette's aggressively sexy friend Mitzi shows up her husband is tempted to stray; he's flattered and gratified but also perplexed by Mitzi's relentless pursuit. The good doctor's mixed feelings are obvious, and amusing. At key moments when he's alone he'll turn and address the audience, even confessing that he's confused about what to do next, and this uncertainty is an appealing character trait. Cinematically, it also marks a rare occasion (Groucho notwithstanding) when a movie character's direct address to the camera is a welcome and successful device. And it underscores the point that Chevalier Bewildered is more attractive than Chevalier the Grinning Tom Cat.

Speaking of attractive, Jeanette MacDonald is a revelation here. Those who know her only from San Francisco, or who're familiar with her prim, tightly controlled performances in the operettas she made with Nelson Eddy, will be startled to see how loose, appealing, and sexy she could be with this director and this co-star. She's adept with comedy, and surprisingly moving in the last scenes when the situation turns more serious. Jeanette's supporting cast isn't half bad, either: Charlie Ruggles is hilarious (especially when he sings) as Jeanette's long-suffering, rejected suitor, while Roland Young is a stand-out, as usual, as the cuckold professor who seems both furious and oddly amused by his situation, and whose every uttered syllable conveys icy, carefully nuanced irony. Young was one of those rare players like Claude Rains who could take a secondary role and deftly steal the show. Here, he makes his first appearance early on and returns only intermittently thereafter, but he makes every moment count.

In his day director Ernst Lubitsch was almost as famous as the stars of his films; his distinctive, sophisticated, merry style was enjoyed by audiences and celebrated by critics. Like Hitchcock or Sturges, Lubitsch himself is a presence in his work. We know from the opening moments of One Hour with You's first scene exactly who is at the helm of this picture, when a rotund Prefect of Police (George Barbier) delivers a speech to his men, warning them that people come to Paris for One Reason Only-- and coincidentally, it's the same thing that so concerns our leading man. This is fine with the Chief, of course, as long as these tourists are willing to pay hard cash. The Chief's speech is delivered in rhyme, a device which recurs throughout at key moments, usually as a lead-in to songs. The title tune is the most memorable one and became a standard, but the others serve their function: each song tells us something about the lead characters' state of mind while offering Lubitsch-style wit about the film's central themes: the joys and drawbacks of marriage and the lure of extra-marital dalliance.

Anyone seeking a good definition of the "Lubitsch Touch" could profitably begin with this movie. Still, Maurice Chevalier is very much the star of this show, and in my opinion he was never better, never more charming, than in One Hour with You.

P.S. Winter 2007: I'm pleased to add that this film will soon be available in a DVD box set, along with three other Lubitsch rarities from the Pre-Code era. Paradise for the director's fans awaits!

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15 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

But Oh That Mitzi....

8/10
Author: theowinthrop from United States
8 September 2005

In the second of the four Chevalier - MacDonald films the leads are a married couple (Chevalier is a upper class doctor, of all things) who are happy together. In fact they are first seen preparing for their anniversary party. Both have friends who can spoil this. Chevalier's closest friend is Charlie Ruggles, who secretly loves MacDonald (but who is usually too nervous or intense to get anywhere with her - if she were interested). MacDonald is close to an old school friend, Genevieve Tobin, who is a continuous flirt (one can even consider her a nymphomaniac). She is married to Roland Young, but their marriage is on the rocks because of her affairs (his too - he wants to marry their maid). So MacDonald invites her friend into her home, and Tobin soon is being coquettish towards Chevalier. When she returns home, she asks him to see her on a professional (i.e. medical) problem, and proceeds to try to seduce him. This upsets Chevalier, who tries to remain faithful to MacDonald, but she (blind as she is to what Tobin is doing) insists he help her friend. Young is delighted. He is closing in on a divorce with Tobin. Finally, being weak, Chevalier gives in. MacDonald learns of this, and turns to Ruggles (!). And the film is set for some kind of resolution of these problems in sexual politics.

The music is best recalled for the title tune, "One Hour With You". It would pop up for years in Paramount film musicals (in DUCK SOUP, it is played in the sequence when Harpo Marx is doing a "Paul Revere" ride to rally the countryside, only to stop at his girlfriend's for "one hour with her."). It also appeared as the national love song of Klopstokia in MILLION DOLLAR LEGS, with Jack Oakie singing the words, "Woof bootle gik..." instead of the original words to it. However, the number that gets me is the one mentioned in the "Summary" line, which Chevalier sings to explain to the audience his dilemma regarding his loyalties to his wife versus the fascination of the beguiling Tobin. In all of his films in the 1930s he would sing some tune that dealt with the heroine or another woman: "Mimi" in LOVE ME TONIGHT is an example, as is "Louise". "MITZI" is another example of this.

The Lubitsch touch is shown throughout. One of the best moments is when Ruggles is talking to MacDonald about attending a party at their home, and learns it is a dinner party, not the costume party he is dressed for. He turns to his butler, and demands to know why he told Ruggles it was a costume party. "Oh sir," says the giggling butler, "I so wanted to see you in tights!" With bits like that sprinkled about, this film is a small treasure.

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

One of the great films of the 1930's -- why isn't this available on DVD??

10/10
Author: mseverson from Los Angeles, CA
6 July 2006

I first saw ONE HOUR WITH YOU (1932) one magical evening in the summer of 1987. I was 19 years old; I ditched work, and drove up to UCLA on the strength of an LA Times blurb. I knew very little about Lubitsch, and had pre-conceived notions about MacDonald and Chevalier. ONE HOUR WITH YOU was one half of a perfect double bill that night with Mamoulian's fantastic LOVE ME TONIGHT (also from 1932). Both films blew me away: they have the special, magical glow of other great Paramount films from that era; the humor is racy and modern; the songs are memorable and funny; and the playing by everyone is exquisite. I've always thought of that night as being one of the best nights at the movies that I've ever had. Both films are enchanting -- I can still remember people running to talk to each other after the screenings of how much they loved them... The audience's joy was palpable throughout.

Of course, as time has past, I've caught up with the rest of Lubitsch's work -- but this film for me is the tops. (TROUBLE IN PARADISE comes a very close second.) Jeannette MacDonald for me was such a revelation. She's both knowing and naive, sexy and sweet... her final confrontation with Chevalier ("...if you're a Don Juan... than I'm a Cleopatra!") is really extraordinary: she utterly transforms herself from a mousy housewife to a believably sexy and silly siren within the span of a few seconds. (Her performance here is similar to that of Mia Farrow's performance in ALICE (1990), when Farrow first comes on to Joe Mantegna's character...) Genevieve Tobin also deserves mention as the sexually insatiable Mitzi. Her first encounter with Chevalier where she is coming on to him in the back of the tax cab ("Let's put our newspapers away and let us face that facts!") is a fantastic bit of acting. And of course Maurice Chevalier is wonderful as the doctor. I especially love his shocked, mock-horror expressions when his two women are whispering to each other, looking at him ("He can...?" "No..." "I tell you he can!")

The film is interesting also for being an early musical, before the genre had the defining imprint of Busby Berkeley and Fred Astaire . It's a musical-comedy hybrid, and as such -- there's no other musical out there like it: the film employs rhyming verse, MacDonald's operatic trilling, playful double-entendres, and Chavalier's directly-addressing the audience. No musical numbers per se (in the traditional sense), but a barrage of musical elements that make this film unique.

The only time this film has been released on home video was in 1997 when Universal briefly released a laserdisc box set called "The Lubitsch Touch," along with other classics, such as THE LOVE PARADE (1929), MONTE CARLO (1930), THE SMILING LIEUTENANT (1931), and DESIGN FOR LIVING (1933). Universal needs to get on the stick and release this on DVD! Even though this film was nominated for Best Picture of 1931/32, it's barely known today. Lubitsch's TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1932) and Mamoulian's LOVE ME TONIGHT are revived more often than this. One reason for this critical oversight might hinge on the film's authorship: George Cukor began the film directing from Lubitsch's own ructions, only later to be replaced by Lubitsch himself, mid-way through the production. Cukor took Lubitsch to court and ultimately won a co-directing credit -- though it's next to impossible to tell who directed what: it's Lubitsch's picture, without a doubt.

Being such a huge fan of a film most people haven't seen or heard of has led me to one special meeting with a fellow enthusiast of ONE HOUR WITH YOU: I was working at a poster shop in San Francisco, selling some film posters to David Packard who owns the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto. His was going to be showing ONE HOUR WITH YOU in the upcoming month, and I mentioned to that it might be my favorite American film. He said (or sung to me): "Me too! Why don't we start singing right now!?" (And then he broke into a few bars of "Oh, That Mitzi!") He said that it was one of his all-time favorites, and also told me that he feels that it's his duty to show every person he knows or lives in the Bay area ONE HOUR WITH YOU before he dies!~ I wish that Universal Home Video felt the same way!

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

"Lead Us Not Into Flirtation"

Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida
6 November 2000

ONE HOUR WITH YOU (Paramount, 1932), directed by Ernst Lubitsch (co-directed by George Cukor), premiered on American Movie Classics March 11, 1993, as part of its annual film preservation. Prior to that, it was shown on the Movie Channel in 1991. A musical comedy, it reunites Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, stars of THE LOVE PARADE (Paramount, 1929), offering them a rare opportunity playing husband and wife from start to finish, and an amusing couple at that.

As for the plot: Chevalier plays Doctor Andre Bertier, happily married man, who comes upon the flirtatious but much married Mitzi Olivier (Genevieve Tobin), who turns out to be his wife, Colette's (MacDonald) best friend in town for a visit. Mitzi's no-nonsense husband (Roland Young) suspects his wife for infidelity and has hired Detective Henry Dornier (Richard Carle) to follow her. While Mitzi makes a play for Andre, Andre's best friend, Adolph (Charles Ruggles), best man at his wedding, does the same for Colette. Situations become involved when Andre finds himself accused of having an affair not with Mitzi but with Mademoiselle Martel (Josephine Dunn) and later on, Professor Olivier visiting Andre and naming him as correspondent in his divorce trial.

Songs by Oscar Struss and Leo Robin, with interpolated music by Richard Whiting, include: "But Spring is Here" (introduced by George Barbier); "What a Little Thing Like a Wedding Ring Will Do" (sung by Chevalier and MacDonald); "We Will Always Be Sweethearts" (sung by MacDonald); "Three Times a Day" (sung by Chevalier and Genevieve Tobin); "One Hour With You" (sung by Donald Novis, Tobin, Charlie Ruggles, MacDonald and Chevalier); "It Was Only a Dream Kiss," "We Will Always Be Sweethearts" (Chevalier and MacDonald) and "What Would You Do?" (Chevalier).

This pre-production code comedy with singing was previously done in the silent era as THE MARRIAGE CIRCLE (Warner Brothers, 1924) starring Adolphe Menjou, Florence Vidor, Monte Blue and Marie Prevost, also directed by Lubitsch, which was distributed on video cassette in the 1990s. This remake was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture of 1932, but in spite of its popularity, this is nearly a forgotten movie. While Jeanette MacDonald is remembered mainly for her costume operettas at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and singing duets with Nelson Eddy in their eight films together spanning from 1935 to 1942, ONE HOUR WITH YOU offers a different Jeanette MacDonald, singing contemporary songs in modern day Paris. At times she's very funny which is a shame that she never was given the opportunity to appear in a "screwball" comedy, but this, being a "drawing room" or "sophisticated" comedy will do. Risqué dialog all around adds to the amusements, with Chevalier occasionally narrating the story to the audience, looking directly into the camera in the way comedian George Burns did on his "George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" on television back in the 1950s.

While a delightful 78 minutes, the next Chevalier and MacDonald musical, LOVE ME TONIGHT (Paramount, 1932) ranks the very best of their four collaborations as a team. Available on DVD as of 2008, and on Turner Classic Movies where it premiered February 23, 2010. (****)

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Mitzi Wants House Calls

8/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
29 July 2009

In the second of their four films together and the only one in which they start out as man and wife, Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald play a happily married couple who face a comic crisis in their marriage when Jeanette announces she's going to be visited by an old friend in Genevieve Tobin in One Hour With You.

What she doesn't know is that Tobin and Maurice have had a flirtatious rendezvous in one of those legendary speedy Paris taxi cabs. Tobin as Mitzi is one saucy wench whose marriage to Roland Young is coming to an end. The only question remaining is who will be caught in a compromising position first for the sake of the alimony.

The whole thing is directed with typical continental charm by Ernest Lubitsch replete with various things in the film identified as the Lubitsch touch. My favorite of those is when Genevieve gets Dr. Chevalier to make a house call, you see a shot of her feet kicking off her shoes and then wiggling in anticipation.

Oscar Straus and Leo Robin wrote most of the music, but the title song was written Richard Whiting with lyrics by Leo Robin. It's introduced during a nightclub scene by radio singer Donald Novis who occasionally did film and stage roles and then sung by nearly all the principals in the cast. Jeanette made a good selling RCA Victor recording of it.

Maurice Chevalier got to sing Oh That Mitzi which both advances the plot of the film as he tells of his dilemma between his wife Colette{MacDonald), but Oh That Mitzi and is a number perfectly suiting his style. It was part of his nightclub act forever after.

Genevieve Tobin is great as the saucy Mitzi and filmgoers probably know her best as the dowager Mrs. Chisholm who was held captive by Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest. Tobin had to be one talented lady, that's quite a difference in parts between One Hour With You and The Petrified Forest.

One cannot ignore Charlie Ruggles a rather timid suitor who is so hoping to get Jeanette on the rebound from Maurice. He's got some very funny scenes with her.

One Hour With You is one of those sophisticated comedies depicting a world gone by. I'm not even sure in Europe if they still dress in tuxedo for dinner.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Art Deco classic

10/10
Author: peterjohndean from Belgium
31 August 2005

I first saw this film in 1955 at a tiny art cinema in Oxford. The print was in perfect condition and the shimmering dresses and art deco were fascinating. I sat through three showings and left on a wave of good feeling which has lasted ever since. (I can still sing "Three Times a Day" in which Chevalier as a doctor prescribes pills to his patient (with its the sexual innuendo). The comparison with Mamoulian's"Love me Tonight" with the same principals is very interesting. Mamoulian sends up the aristocratic Ruritanian musical comedy while Lubitsch adores the middle class. Both in their different ways are brilliant. Both use surrealist effects to heighten a sense of unreality. This is pure entertainment in a European tradition. Genevieve Tobin is a wonderful support but her career never really took off.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A light-hearted adulterous delight

8/10
Author: Terrell-4 from San Antonio, Texas
8 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One Hour with You is a bit of sophisticated, amusing and perfectly executed sexual fluff. The whole point is an adventure in adultery -- schemed for, resisted, accomplished and forgiven. If anyone could make adultery into a joyful occasion for gaiety, Lubitsch is the man. And he does.

Dr. Andre Bertier (Maurice Chevalier) and his wife, Colette Bertier (Jeanette MacDonald, have been married three years…three years of madly passionate bliss. Why, they even go to Parisian parks for an evening of kissing before returning to their apartment…or more precisely, their apartment's bedroom. But Colette has a best friend, Mitzi (Genevieve Tobin), a sly minx who thinks husbands are the perfect trophies for her own bedroom, one she doesn't share with her older husband, Professor Livier (Roland Young). The professor, a dry, wry and worldly man, has no illusions about his wife. When he unexpectedly walks into the parlor of his home one day and sees Mitzi with Andre, we know Mitzi called for Andre to come over on the pretext that she was feeling badly so that she might seduce him. So Mitzi quickly says to her husband, "Darling, I'm not feeling very well." "Why should you?" the professor asks. "Oh, no, Professor," Andre says, "Madame is in a very serious condition." Says the Professor, "Why shouldn't she be? Conditions are bad everywhere."

Hovering nearby is Adolph (Charles Ruggles), the eager-man-about town and friend of both of the Bertiers, who is eager to get to know Colette even better. Mitzi, when she meets Andre, is determined to know Andre better, too. Resist though Andre does…well, as he asks us, what would you do? And Colette, when she suspects what might have happened, begins to think Adolph might be just the thing for a bit of what's good for the gander is good for the goose. And after all, Adolph tells Colette, "Any man who leaves a woman like you with a man like me…deserves it"

Does Andre give in to Mitzi? For that matter, does Colette give in to Adolph? If this movie were made after the Code, the answer would be no. But One Hour with You was made just before the Code slammed down. Do Andre and Colette confess…and does the movie end with a shrug, a laugh, a kiss? Well, of course. Adultery shouldn't be seen as anything more than a momentary temptation if two married people – married to each other, of course -- love each other.

The movie swirls through this charming tale of love and temptation with the men in white ties and the women in sleek gowns and skimpy scanties. The songs are few but light- hearted. Perhaps more importantly, a light-hearted score drawn from the songs runs through most of the film. Lubitsch even features rhyming dialogue on several occasions that is clever and pointed. When Colette tells Mitzi all about her passionate husband and her life, she and Mitzi discuss things in rhyme, as in this intriguing couplet. Says Colette to Mitzi, handing her a tiny wisp of something silk, "Oh, I must show you my new lingerie…" Replies Mitzi, "Too stunning for only a husband to see…"

As delightful, sexy and uncorseted as Jeanette MacDonald is as Colette, the movie is definitely Maurice Chevalier's. He often explains to us his dilemma…loving his wife yet with Mitzi throwing herself at him…by talking directly to us. Chevalier's Hollywood screen persona as an immensely charming and light-hearted man who sees providing satisfying, intimate pleasure to as many ladies as possible as almost a duty, makes the dish Mitzi puts him in tasty indeed.

This movie also owes a great deal to the literate and sophisticated screenplay by Samson Raphaelson. He and Lubitsch in partnership gave us some great movies…this one and The Smiling Lieutenant the year before, but most particularly Trouble in Paradise (1932), The Merry Widow (1934), The Shop Around the Corner (1940) and Heaven Can Wait (1943).

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Try all these on for size

8/10
Author: Gary170459 from Derby, UK
11 September 2004

I taped this one off UK TV in 1988 on the off chance it was good, kept it and have seen it about 10 times since. I wonder if a remastered DVD would be a little less murky as this is in places. Although a notch down from "Trouble in Paradise" it would still make it a worthy bookend, same director in Lubitsch, same studio, same year, same lightheartedness. Or maybe a triple bill with "Love me tonight", Mamoulian's masterpiece for my money, or a foursome with Sternberg's "Blonde Venus" if you feel in an even more arty mood.

The plot is pretty straightforward, turning the unfaithful wife and cuckolded husband scenario on its head with Roland Young (and his maid) pleased at the situation instead of demanding a duel to the death with Chevalier. The climax seems a little awkwardly handled, but ultimately the end credits plus a final snatch of the theme make it OK. And the music is brilliant and witty, helped by Paramount's brash Orchestra producing some marvellously angular but tuneful interpretations - even with the background noises (and similar in this respect also to the non-musical TIP).

Lubitsch re-used the plot from his film "The Marriage Circle", a silent with Adolphe Menjou, and although it has some fine moments is nowhere near as classy as the talkie version is. Being silent it has a completely different ambiance, but it's fun guessing where the songs should go.

All of the a/m films are sublime and should be on prescription!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Musical farce with the Lubitsch touch...

7/10
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
15 December 2012

Ernst Lubitsch (with some "assist" from George Cukor) directs this charming and witty farce which gives Maurice Chevalier a chance to steal the film from his very talented co-stars, including Jeanette MacDonald and Genevieve Tobin.

His rendering of "Oh, that Mitzi!" (he breaks the fourth wall to speak directly to the camera--as in "Gigi" years later), and "Three Times A Day" remain the highlights of the film. The story itself is pure fluff, a tale about a happily married couple who each have a fling but remain faithful to each other for the finale. Of course, it's all pre-code morality done with style and wit.

The sprinkling of songs also includes some rhyming dialogue, always a clever mix of words and music. Jeanette's voice sounds tinny here and there's no use made of her operatic range as the songs are simple and sweet, but she's charming and appealing as Chevalier's happily married wife. It's hard to see why she couldn't suspect that her best friend Genevieve Tobin would want to seduce her husband when the woman is such an obvious flirt. But of course, the story is strictly fluff and full of many improbable moments. The rather abrupt ending seems an awkward way to resolve the whole marital situation.

Worth viewing to watch Maurice Chevalier deliver one of his most satisfying performances, especially good when addressing the audience with his problems. The catchy title song by Richard Whiting gets some nice singing moments from several players.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Chevalier & McDonald in a musical farce

8/10
Author: netwallah from The New Intangible College
2 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A Jeannette McDonald/Maurice Chevalier musical farce, in which a happily married couple have a close encounter with inconstancy—Dr. André Bertier (Chevalier) with his wife's vivacious best friend Mitzi (Genevieve Tobin), and his wife Collette (McDonald)—almost—with his earnest but dull best man Adolphe (Charles Ruggles). It supposedly takes place in Paris, but who can tell? Like most sex farces this one has a set of misunderstandings and complications that get resolved. Mitzi gets divorced and disappears to Lausanne,.delighting her husband (Roland Young), who wants to be with the attractive maid (Barbara Leonard). It almost looks like the Bertiers will be divorcing, but suddenly they forgive each other. McDonald is a passable comedienne, but Chevalier is great, tall, dark-haired, dapper, with a huge grin that suggests he knows he's been bad but he enjoys it so much! There are a few songs, but not too many. Because some components of the screenplay—the cross-purposes with place cards at dinner and the whole tangle of laughing infidels—closely resembles parts of Pas sur la Bouche, it seems clear that they both came out of the 1920s farce the makers of the latter film credit for their original story.

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