In September 1928, Warner Bros. Pictures purchased a majority interest in First National Pictures and from that point on, all "First National" productions were actually made under Warner Bros. control, even though the two companies continued to retain separate identities until the mid-1930's, after which time "A Warner Bros.-First National Picture" was often used. See more »
[Finding her employee, Fifi, smooching with Legionnaire Paul]
Fifi! So this is the way you waste your time - canoodling!
Paul de St. Cyr:
[Paul and Fifi get up, looking guilty]
Don't blame Fifi, madame. It's my fault.
Don't tell me what to do, you... you canoodler! Come, Fifi.
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In this operetta, Walter Pigeon (who wasn't young, even in 1931) and Edward Everett Horton (!!) are two soldiers in love. Walter loves a shop-girl (who sings a lot). Edward loves Walter's arranged fiancée. Walt loses his girl, because papa writes her a check, and she uses it (after appropriate soul searching) to launch her opera career. Edward's in danger of losing her girl because the arranged marriage is going forward. Will true love triumph?
The musical numbers are OK, though sung in an operatic style that some may like, but most moviegoers now hate. The staging is very static. As for plot and acting -- nothing very good or very bad. Because Edward Everett Horton has a role outside of his usual range, he's subdued and seems a bit uncomfortable.
The bright spot here is Frank McHugh as the Brooklyn accented "Francois", who gets a comic number to himself in the opening reels. He shouts more than sings, but it's decent Broadway style singing. He also, in the same number, gets to parade about in drag. This is quite funny, and if you're in the right mood, worth seeing. His role, however, is entirely peripheral to the plot, and his speaking style is wackily out of place.
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