Lubitsch Musicals [4 Discs] [Criterion Collection] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Monte Carlo
After the master of sophisticated romantic comedy, Ernst Lubitsch, directed Jeanette MacDonald in the smash hit The Love Parade, they were reunited a year later for this similarly frothy romp. Countess Vera Von Conti (MacDonald) is engaged to marry the dull Prince Otto Von Seibenheim (Claud Allister), whom she doesn't love. At the 11th hour, Vera decides to skip the wedding and instead heads to Monte Carlo, where she visits the casinos and begins losing in a heroic fashion. A handsome stranger spies the beautiful Vera and asks to touch her hair for luck, but instead it's Vera's luck that dramatically improves as she wins back her fortune. Vera immediately offers the man a job as her combination valet and good luck charm, not knowing that he's actually the wealthy and powerful Count Rudolph Falliere (Jack Buchanan). The Count plays along, pretending to be a commoner as he uses his new position with Vera to learn how he can win her heart. As one might expect, MacDonald sings several songs (including "Beyond the Blue Horizon"), and also duets with British music star Jack Buchanan on "Whatever It Is, It's Grand" and "Always in All Ways." ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

One Hour with You
A musical remake of The Marriage Circle (1924), One Hour with You stars Maurice Chevalier as a Parisian doctor and Jeanette MacDonald as his loving wife. Chevalier is scrupulously faithful, much to the chagrin of his lovely female patients. But when MacDonald's best friend Genevieve Tobin insists upon being treated by Dr. Chevalier, it looks to many of those concerned that Tobin may succeed where the other willing ladies failed. The misunderstandings and reconciliations of the plotline are playfully staged with deliberate artificiality by director Ernst Lubitsch: Characters speak in rhymed couplets, Parisian gendarmes issue orders to their minions to the beat of a ticking clock, and Chevalier regularly talks directly to the audience. One Hour with You is a tuneful confection which is just as refreshing today as it was sixty years ago. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Love Parade
Director Ernst Lubitsch's first talking picture, The Love Parade was a witty souffle about a royal "marriage of state." Jeanette MacDonald, the queen of Sylvania, is required to take a husband. Maurice Chevalier is a highborn Sylvanian diplomat called back to his country due to his amorous escapades. It is arranged for Chevalier to marry MacDonald, but though he is ostensibly the "king" of the boudoir, he is not allowed to participate in any affairs of state. Gradually the royal protocol erodes the marriage, as the formerly footloose Chevalier bristles at being a mere consort. After numerous complications and misunderstandings, Chevalier asserts his authority over the secretly willing MacDonald. Counterpointing the main plot is the backstairs romance of servants Lupino Lane and Lillian Roth, who, like the stars, get to cut loose in the occasional musical number. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Smiling Lieutenant
Maurice Chevalier plays a 19th century Viennese lieutenant, conducting an affair with sexy violinist Claudette Colbert. While publicly flirting with Colbert, Chevalier is spotted by a dowdy princess (Miriam Hopkins), who thinks that the lieutenant's wink was meant for her. Forced to marry the Princess, Chevalier despairs at her lack of charm. But good-hearted Colbert takes the princess aside, dolls her up, and instructs her how to bewitch--and keep--her man. Chevalier is enchanted by the "new" princess, while Colbert, who will have no trouble finding someone else to keep her warm and comfortable, cheerfully sashays out of his life. Long thought lost, The Smiling Lieutenant was rediscovered in an East European vault in the 1970s. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Jack Buchanan
    Jack Buchanan - Count Rudolph Falliere
  • Jeanette MacDonald
    Jeanette MacDonald - Countess Vera von Conti
  • ZaSu Pitts
    ZaSu Pitts - Maria, Vera's Maid
  • Claud Allister
    Claud Allister - Prince Otto Von Seibenheim
  • Image coming soon
    Tyler Brooke - Armand, Rudolph's friend
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