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Prince Peter Karagin, an officer in the Cossack army, sees and hears lovely Lydia Marakova in the cafe Balalaika in St. Petersburg and wants to meet her. When he hears she likes to fraternize with a lower class of people, he gives a student 50 rubles for his clothing. She eventually accepts his persistant presence and they fall in love. Peter uses his influence to get Lydia an audition at the opera house, where she is hired and is scheduled to perform later. The Prince, however, is not aware that she, her father and brother are part of a revolutionary movement. Their mutual deception is quickly shattered when Peter and the Cossacks violently break up a revolutionary rally in the public square, where Lydia's brother is killed. Soon afterwards, she learns that the rebels plan to assassinate Peter and his uncle, General Karagin, at the opera house on opening night, and still in love, she warns Peter not to go to the performance. He cancels the reservations, but General Karagin decides to... Written by
Arthur Hausner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Why this wasn't more successful is a mystery. It had good tunes great sets, marvellous supporting cast so what was the problem. Nelson Eddy was in fine voice and wore the Russian costumes well, so we come to Illona Massey .It beggars belief that Massey didn't become a bigger star. It shows what glut of talent there was at Metro at the time.Also she wasn't Jeanete Macdonald the public wanted her and Eddy together his liasons with Massey seemed like adultery to the fans. However lets examine here case ,she was lot sexier that Macdonald- Hollywood has never been good at handling real sexiness ,it was falsified and made safe by Lana turner etc, Massey was womanly in its best sense she also looked like a man-eater and that alienated women and frightened men .To describe her as an opulent blonde is an understatement. Not only was she stunning to look at but could sing as well as Macdonald and was streets ahead of the over sweet shrillness of Kathryn Grayson and Jane Powell. MGM kept Massey on long leash in case Macdonald became troublesome. Massey resurfaced gloriously in holiday in Mexico making Walter Pidgeon smoulder in way he he never did with Greer.Massey finally achieved some sort of immortality in Love Happy as the uber voluptuous madam Engelich delivering the first recorded whammy to an overwhelmed Harpo Marx .Something she was also delivering to the men in the audience who wisely didn't let their wives find out.Massey was as delicious as a box of glacé fruits shame on Hollywood for being stingy with such a mouth watering treat
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