Archive for Maurice Chevalier

Pond Life

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by dcairns


This fortnight’s Forgotten — Chevalier! Colbert! Sturges! Hobart Henley!

Hobart Henley?


The Sunday Intertitle: Having a Ball

Posted in FILM, MUSIC with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2013 by dcairns


Well, this is more like it — a proper intertitle. But from a talkie.

Lubitsch’s sublime THE MERRY WIDOW could be seen as a revival of the short-lived operetta-film form which he’d pioneered in the very early days of sound. Ruritanian romance, musical interludes, Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald — Lubitsch brings them all back, and this time configures the elements so perfectly that there was really no need to revisit the form again. He got it right.


The movie benefits from a technical smoothness made possible by advances in sound and camera equipment, and from a gigantic MGM budget, not that THE SMILING LIEUTENANT or the others really suffers from a lack of those things. It also has really delightful performances from its leads — Lubitsch had a remarkable skill at getting light comedy performances from performers not necessarily associated with that tone… I guess I’m talking about Jeanette. I like her in LOVE ME TONIGHT just fine, but she’s more winning here, and there’s genuine chemistry with Chevalier. She played a lot of romantic comedy, I guess, but usually seemed a bit of a prig. Here, that’s part of her character, but she still has warmth.

Dancing on the spinning globe — that’s not easy to do!

There’s also Edward Everett Horton and Herman Bing and Una Merkel and George Barbier and Sterling Holloway and Akim Tamiroff… And a plethora of babes dropping by on their way to stardom or near-stardom or obscurity, making this the 1930s version of THE KNACK. We get delicious Lona Andre for about a line, Kathleen Burke (the Panther Woman from ISLAND OF LOST SOULS), Luana Walters…

vlcsnap-2013-01-13-11h40m41s25Lona Andre, right.

The Merry Widow 1934, (Region 2 import) Maurice Chevalier Jeanette MacDonald

The 7 Wonders of the Pre-Code World: 3

Posted in FILM with tags , , on April 16, 2009 by dcairns

Maurice Chevalier’s secretaries.


Does Maurice Chevalier really NEED so many secretaries? Of course he does — he’s Maurice Chevalier! And do their secretarial dresses really need to be backless? Yes, they do. He’s Maurice Chevalier!

From FOLIES BERGERE, a 20th Century Fox musical comedy that makes a pretty good job of impersonating the Busby Berkeley style:



Girls in stockings with umbrellas dancing on lightning bolts. It’s a visual treat and a health and safety nightmare.