Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

A 30s classic: Love Me Tonight

LOVE ME TONIGHT. I just had to order this 1932 musical as I kept hearing such good reports on it. Maurice Chevalier is the Parisian tailor who sets out to visit a chateau to collect unpaid bills from aristocrat Charlie Ruggles. He meets and falls for lonely princess Jeanette McDonald who trills several numbers, and there is the young Myrna Loy as a man-mad countess (who has a great line when asked if she would go for a doctor). This fluff is inventively directed by Rouben Mamoulian and the great score is by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. It is obviously creaky but it is almost 80 years old and talkies were only 4 years old.

The score and the direction is the thing – that opening of Paris coming alive in the morning (all on the back lot), and songs like “Isn’t It Romantic” which is taken up by person after person (including soldiers on a train) until it reaches the castle where Jeanette is pining on her balcony, and there’s “Lover”, “Mimi” and Maurice’s Apache number. After seeing the older Chevalier a lot lately, interesting to see him in his young prime here, Jeanette though seems far too dated for today’s tastes. With C Aubrey Smith and Ethel Griffies.

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