Napoleon Bonaparte has just abdicated the throne of France and Italy and has been banished to Elba, in the process restoring Louis XVIII to the throne. In the battle between the Bonapartists and the Royalists, Louis has ordered the execution of Napoleon's loyal soldiers, including Armand de Treville. However, Armand is able to escape just before he is to be executed. He is eventually able to take refuge in the south of France at the chateau of his friend, the Countess Louise, who, despite being a Royalist, is Armand's friend first and foremost. He is to be incognito working as one of her servants. Although Louise is in love with Armand, he in turn sees her more as a sister. En route to Louise's, Armand meets another Royalist, Leonie de Beaufort, with who, in their short encounter, he falls in love, although she would not even recognize him if she saw him again if only because of his face being hidden in the darkness during their encounter. Unknown to Armand, Leonie and Louise are ...Written by
DEVIL-MAY-CARE was Ramon Novarro's starring talkie debut. Coming off big hits in 1929 like THE FLYING FLEET and THE PAGAN, Novarro scored again with this film that MGM billed as the screen's first dramatic operetta.
Set during the turmoil of Napoleonic France, Novarro plays a young Bonapartist convicted during the revival of the French monarchy. He escapes the firing squad and hides out in a house where a young noblewoman (Dorothy Jordan) lives. She is a fierce Royalist, and she turns him in but he escapes again.
Later he turns up in the house of an old friend (Marion Harris) where he poses as a footman. When a coach approaches with a visitor, it turns out to be Jordan, who is Harris' young cousin. The two women quietly compete for the attentions of Novarro. The original title for this film was THE BATTLING LADIES but MGM changed it to a more fitting title for a Novarro starrer.
Novarro breezes through his talkie debut with a style and panache. His singing voice is pleasant but his wavering high notes could be the result of early sound technology. Jordan's singing voice is rather shrill. Harris, known as the "queen of the blues," comes off best.
There is an Albertina Rasch ballet sequence that was originally shot in 2-strip Technicolor. It has little to do with the plot.
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