Minutes before her wedding to Duke Otto Von Seibenheim, Countess Helene Mara flees, on a whim, to Monte Carlo, where she hopes her luck will save her poor financial state. There, Count Rudolph Farriere is taken by her beauty, but she rebuffs him, not even looking at him. Assuming the guise of a hairdresser, he finally succeeds in seeing her, night and morning. Sparks fly, and love ensues - but can she love a lowly hairdresser? As her finances worsen though, the Duke arrives, and his money and social status seem even more enticing. Shunning Rudolph, will her story follow the operatic "unhappy ending", or can she have it all?Written by
Million laughs- in Monte Carlo. Where a fleeing fiancee falls head over heels in love with the millionaire romeo who dresses her hair. (Print Ad- Calgary Daily Herald, ((Calgary, Alta.)) 11 November 1930) See more »
Loosely based on the Booth Tarkington novel (1900) that was also source for the Rudolph Valentino drama Monsieur Beaucaire (1924) and the Bob Hope comedy Monsieur Beaucaire (1946). And there really is an English operetta (1918) based on the book, composed by André Messager, later adapted to French. It looks like recordings are only available for the French version. As of this writing (2017), both movies are available on DVD, but Valentino's looks like it's in public domain. See more »
When Rudolph is leaving the Countess's boudoir after kissing her and depositing her on the chaise-lounge, the shadow of the microphone boom can be seen on the door. See more »
In fact, Monte Carlo is a nice film that left me mostly in a good mood. It does have a few fairly major flaws, starting with Jack Buchanan who is a total charmless wimp of a leading man and his chemistry with Jeanette MacDonald doesn't really convince, Maurice Chevalier would have been a much better fit. The song Trimmin' the Women is forgettable at best and embarrassing at worst, a song that really should have been left on the editing room floor, a shame because there was some clever musical choreography in it. The story also even for a 1930s musical is rather contrived with a few situations stretched to the limits in credibility. And sadly, ZaSu Pitts is wasted and strains for laughs, she's often delightful but her comic talents are just not used very well at all. As ever with an Ernst Lubitsch film Monte Carlo is a lavish-looking film with opulent period detail and attractive cinematography and Lubitsch directs with his usual class and elegant style. The songs, with the exception of one, are lovely and staged in a witty(a couple alternatively intimate) and light as a feather way, the memorable scene being the tear-jerking Beyond the Blue Horizon staged on a moving train. Give Me a Moment Please is very amusing as well and the most story-enhancing of the songs. The dialogue is sweet and funny with some nice interplay between the actors, the supporting performances are solid enough but other than the songs Jeanette MacDonald is the best thing about Monte Carlo. She is effortlessly charming and feisty and her voice while not large is beautiful in tone and shaped with tasteful style and phrasing. All in all, Lubitsch is nowhere near his best here(Heaven Can Wait, the Merry Widow and particularly The Shop Around the Corner are much preferred) but while problematic Monte Carlo is not a bad film at all, lesser Lubitsch but Lubitsch when not on best form is better than most other directors in the same position. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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