The small kingdom of Marshovia has a little problem. The main tax-payer, the wealthy widow Sonia (who pays 52% of the taxes) has left for Paris. So Count Danilo is sent to Paris, to stop her from getting married to a stranger, so that the danger of removing the money is averted. But this is not as easy as the ambassador in Paris has planned. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A superb classic production of this Lehar romantic operetta
Forget that this classic film was made forty years ago! You will also forget that it is in black and white from the moment that 'the curtain goes up' because of the wonderfully convincing performances and the romance of the music - just surrender to it - even the make-believe fantasy of the story; be a fly on the wall and let yourself be swept along as the scenes unfold at good pace.This is beautifully directed by Lubitsch whilst Vajda and Raphaelson have produced a great script.MGM built some wonderful sets - the opulence of the King of Marshovia's palace is fun with the lovely cast crowns on the huge doors ( a bit 'Wizard of Oz'ish'!) and the great dance sequences at the Embassy Ball may have influenced others 20 or so years later for 'My Fair Lady'. There are some lovely humourous touches and every performance is polished right down to the gypsy violinist. The music is wonderful but at the top of the credits are performances by Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier which are totally believable. We need to remind ourselves that when this was made in 1934 the film industry was not long into its infancy and despite the absence of all of today's surround sound - the distraction of colour -and all the technical 'advances' - this is a little masterpiece. You can hear clearly every word (what a refreshing change from todays films!!)and this delightful Lehar masterpiece rolls along on the great and convincing performances with the romance atmosphere of the music tugging at your heartstrings. Those without hearts or strings give this a miss - but sadly if you do I believe that you will be incomplete because you will have denied yourself the thrills,fun and fantasy of a delightful, beautifully performed 'once upon a time' romance.
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