6.8/10
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Monte Carlo (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | 27 August 1930 (USA)
A countess flees to Monte Carlo on the day of her wedding, where she is courted by a count posing as a hairdresser.

Director:

Ernst Lubitsch

Writers:

Ernest Vajda (adaptation), Hans Müller (play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Buchanan ... Count Rudolph Farriere
Jeanette MacDonald ... Countess Helene Mara
Claud Allister ... Duke Otto von Liebenheim
Zasu Pitts ... Bertha
Tyler Brooke Tyler Brooke ... Armand
John Roche ... Paul
Lionel Belmore ... Prince Gustav von Liebenheim
Albert Conti ... Master of Ceremonies
Helen Garden Helen Garden ... Lady Mary
Donald Novis Donald Novis ... Monsieur Beaucaire
Erik Bey Erik Bey ... Lord Winderset
David Percy David Percy ... Herald
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Storyline

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 Rick

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

As intimate as a lady's boudoir! (original window card poster) See more »


Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

27 August 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monte-Carlo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$726,465 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Jeanette MacDonald is referred to as a blonde early on in the dialogue. She was actually a redhead, and no attempt was made to lighten her hair to make her look blonde. Her hair photographed the dark grey red hair usually reproduced as on the black-and-white film used in 1930. See more »

Quotes

Count Rudolph Falliere a.k.a. Rudy the hairdresser: I have a system that can't miss. If I happened to be standing beside a brunette I bet on red. If I am standing next to a readhead I bet on black.
Armand: But suppose you're standing next to a blonde. What do you do then?
Count Rudolph Falliere a.k.a. Rudy the hairdresser: I ask where she lives.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Movie Melodies on Parade (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Give Me A Moment Please
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and W. Franke Harling
Lyrics by Leo Robin
Sung by Jeanette MacDonald and Jack Buchanan
See more »

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User Reviews

Rare Lubitsch dud
18 September 2004 | by mgmaxSee all my reviews

Certainly when you look at this film as a 1930 musical, the way that songs are integrated into the plot is a marvel, and it has a fluidity that belies the year it was made. That said, this is rather a chore to sit through, compared to the likes of The Smiling Lieutenant and One Hour With You, and despite the appeal of MacDonald in her early, earthy days, before she became partner to the eunuch Nelson Eddy.

There are three main culprits: first, a plot which just doesn't compare to the comedy-dramas of sexual tension and yearning that Lubitsch's best films offer. The others are fantasies, but this is flat out unbelievable, with too many mistaken identities, arbitrary shifts in attitude by the leading lady, and a lack of tension (since all of MacDonald's romantic choices are stinking rich). It's just impossible to care about. The second is leading man Jack Buchanan. It's not just that you can imagine Maurice Chevalier getting something innocently naughty out of the lines which might actually be charming, but as lightweight as he is, Buchanan seems too smart to believe what a doof-slash-stalker he's playing. Imagine Fred Astaire being replaced in Top Hat by Herbert Marshall, or maybe Paul Muni. And finally... at best the songs are unmemorable ditties cleverly staged. One, however, "Trimmin' the Women," could make the short list of worst movie numbers of the golden age of Hollywood. In short, be glad that Paramount compelled MacDonald and Chevalier (who she apparently disliked) to get back together in time for Love Me Tonight.

NOTE: Since viewing the film I have learned that the reels are misnumbered on nearly all surviving prints-- a fact which explains the otherwise baffling scene in the movie where Buchanan, who has already met MacDonald (IF you've seen it out of order), goes to work for her and she has no idea who he is. I'm not saying the movie would be radically better if it was in the correct order, but it would undoubtedly make somewhat more sense.


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