Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Love Parade

Prinssipuoliso / Prinsgemålen. US © 1930 Paramount. P+D: Ernst Lubitsch. SC: Ernest Vajda - based on the play Le Prince consort (1919) by Léon Xanrof (= Léon Fourneau) and Jules Chancel. DP: Victor Milner - 1:1,2. AD: Hans Dreier. COST: Travis Banton. M: Victor Schertzinger. Songs: "Dream Lover," "My Love Parade," "Paris, Stay the Same," "Let's Be Common," "March of the Grenadiers," "Nobody's Using It Now," "Gossip," "Anything to Please the Queen," "Ooh, La La" and "The Queen Is Always Right," words by Clifford Grey, music by Victor Schertzinger. Starring Maurice Chevalier (Count Alfred Renard), Jeanette MacDonald (Queen Louise), Lupino Lane (Jacques), Lillian Roth (Lulu). There is the Hitchcock favourite John Williams or his lookalike in the first sequence. 109 min. UCLA restoration viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 23 September 2008.

A great work of restoration, perhaps partly from difficult materials? The first time I see a good print of this film. (I had only seen the Prague print of 92 min). - Chevalier the military attaché of Sylvania is banished from Paris because of his love scandals. He is to be punished by the Queen (Jeanette MacDonald) but gets a dinner invitation, instead. Things escalate into marriage. - Highlights include the royal guard commanded to sneak to avoid waking up the queen, the reading of the confidential report, the telling of a risqué joke, playacting a regular first date (what can be left for later? plenty!), the Afghan ambassador's grim warning "No chongo!" ("It won't work!"), bad omens before wedding, the hesitation of the groom before the priest, the annoying cannon shots during the wedding night, the wedding night duet of Lupino Lane and Lillian Roth, the sponsored radio announcement, the boredom of the prince consort, "Nobody's Using It Now", the opera gala with the prince consort as a star. - The Lubitsch touch: the salacious details are always conveyed via reactions.

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