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re: Try "Love Me Tonight" - it's incredibly witty, funny, tuneful and delightful nm
Last Edit: PlayWiz 07:05 pm EDT 08/25/21
Posted by: PlayWiz 06:49 pm EDT 08/25/21
In reply to: re: Try "Love Me Tonight" - it's incredibly witty, funny, tuneful and delightful nm - BroadwayTonyJ 06:02 pm EDT 08/25/21

Yes, it was a pre-code film, but audiences saw the whole thing in 1932. When they revived it some years later after the Hays code started really being enforced around 1934, about 8 minutes, were trimmed and presumed lost. Included was a reprise of "Mimi" during that segment of other characters singing it done by Myrna Loy, which was trimmed apparently because her costume was deemed too revealing. Some of the rest of the scenes are, to some extent, able to be read or are talked about as additional features on some of the DVD releases. But like "The Magnificent Ambersons", another favorite film of mine which had even more major deletions, what remains is a wonderful film.

"Singin' in the Rain" is also another with songs (older ones) integrated into a funny and well-written storyline. The big "Broadway Rhythm" section is actually kind of extraneous, but there to show off Gene Kelly. It also catapulted Cyd Charisse to stardom with her dazzling presence and dancing. But it's long -- I've seen the film so many times, that sometimes I skip or step out of the room during it. But well-done, of course. But since the film takes place in 1927, in a way it points out by comparison just how innovative the direction and cinematography of 1932's "Love Me Tonight" and also 1929's "The Love Parade" were, among other early films.

McDonald and Chevalier really have some sexy chemistry in the "The Love Parade, especially their first scene together -- where she is reading of his indiscretions while he waits his judgment; she is alternatively smiling, hiding it to show proper decorum, sizing him up, running out of the room to.... fix her hair, powder her cheeks, look in the mirror, run off, then Stop and compose herself as the proper Queen she is supposed to be. Then eventually both sing a wonderfully risque song about meting out his "punishment" in "Anything to Please the Queen", which is full of double entendres, shared looks, smiles and a lot of sexual innuendo. It's just great, and McDonald is so commanding and wonderful in her debut film acting and singing alongside Chevalier's charming rogue.

There's also Rodgers and Hammerstein's "State Fair" that was written for the movies, another original musical and a very good one, too. Plus "Meet Me In St. Louis" is superb, and also the many wonderful musicals done at 20th Century Fox which started to be available to been seen again once the video age started. Many of those Alice Faye or Betty Grable starrers with Carmen Miranda Vivian Blaine/June Haver//John Payne/Don Ameche/Charlotte Greemwood are a lot of fun, and many of them were written for the screen. I especially like "That Night In Rio" with Don Ameche great in a duel role (although that's a remake of Maurice Chevalier's also fun "Folies Bergere", later remade for Danny Kaye as "On the Riviera").

"Love Me Tonight" especially is certainly of the 30s, but like most of the Astaire-Rogers films, it is timeless in its ability to entertain and delight its audiences.
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Next: re: Try "Love Me Tonight" - it's incredibly witty, funny, tuneful and delightful nm - notung 09:49 am EDT 08/27/21
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