When Parisienne tailor Maurice Courtelin learns that one of his aristocratic clients, the Viscount Gilbert de Varèze, is a deadbeat who never pays for the merchandise he acquires, he heads off to try and collect what is owed to him. He gets little in the way of cash from the Viscount who is desperate that his uncle, the Duke D'Artelines not learn of his debts. He suggests that Maurice spend a little time at the chateau until the money can be found. The Duke takes an immediate liking to Maurice - who's been introduced as a Baron - but that's not the case for the Princess Jeanette who, after an encounter with him him on the road earlier that day. Over time Jeannette falls in love with himWritten by
Just before the "Isn't It Romantic?" number begins in the tailor shop, Maurice reacts with pleasure as his customer Emile steps out of the dressing room, supposedly wearing his new suit. But in the mirror's reflection we can see that actor Roach is still wearing his long-johns from earlier in the scene. In the next shot, he is suddenly wearing the suit. See more »
I've always found Maurice and Jeannette to be acquired tastes but they really shine here. The "Iron Butterfly" had a high soprano with an exaggerated pronunciation but she shows herself to be a gifted comedienne in this film and so one forgives her that. The opening scene is justly famous with its use of natural street sounds shading off into music and the camera work is highly fluid, especially for 1932.
Is it the greatest movie musical of all time? It may well be and that would even include "Singing in the Rain" but I wouldn't want to make a choice and I don't think anyone has to.
Rodgers and Hart were at their peak here though they did equally fine things later on. But certainly "Isn't it Romantic", "Mimi" (though more of a specialty for Maurice), and "Lover" are standards in anyone's book. The story, though typically silly, is treated in such a way that it is elevated to at least a serviceable level.
The "Western Electric Noiseless Recording" process is just that though one would hardly confuse it with modern Dolby stereo.
The supporting cast is equally excellent including the Charleses Ruggles and Butterworth as well as Myrna Loy who had a much solider screen persona later on (Thin Man series and "Best Years of Our Lives") though she's fine here as a man-chaser.
Many of the original innuendos remain intact but others were censored later for rerelease and they were lost. But screenplay excerpts of these are given on the video.
The Kino DVD is well done but since the library copy I saw was a little damaged, I was not able to watch all of the comments by Miles Kreuger, an associate of Reuben Mamoulian's in later years.
10 out of 10.
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