|The millionaire Sonia (Jeanette MacDonald), the Ambassador of Marshovia (Edward Everett Horton), and Count Danilo (Maurice Chevalier) in Paris in The Merry Widow (1934). Please click to enlarge the image.|
Edward Everett Horton's expression is worth seeing when he hears the code word "darling", meaning: "I consider you the greatest idiot in the diplomatic service". The code reader is the embassy official Zizipoff (Herman Bing) who seems especially to relish the word "greatest". The Ambassador looks even more alarmed when he hears the next code expression: "lilac time"... The urgent message is finally unencrypted (roughly, from memory and partial notes):
I consider you the greatest idiot in the diplomatic service.
Something must be done.
Do it now.
What are you waiting for?