Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Love Parade (1929)

What a wonderful musical...this was made in 1929?

Maurice Chevalier (MC) and Jeanette MacDonald (JM)star in Ernst Lubitscg's first talking picture


This is an amazing gem of a film. Made at a time when most films (never mind musicals, felt static and nailed to the floor tahanks to the requirements of sound recording, this film feels wonderfully untethered, despite having limited camera movements. If you didn’t know you it was made in 1929 you’d probably not guess that was when it was made. Also confounding things is the fact that this film is very frank sexually, everyone knows the leads are getting down and dirty and that’s perfectly fine.

The plot has MC as a military attach√© in Paris. He’s caught with the wife of a high official by her husband when an argument about another woman he’s sleeping with (she found someone else’s garter) delays her leaving long enough for the hubby to show up. Sent home by his boss who has been following him for a week, he is brought before the queen (JM) who finds his randy nature to her liking. While everyone watches the couple falls in love. They marry, but all is not smooth as she runs the country and he simply wanders around waiting for her to come back to bed. He chafes at not being the man and threatens to leave causing turmoil in the country.

I really like this film a great deal. I absolutely love the first half of this film without reservation, Its witty and charming and witty and charming and just so damn fun you can’t help but smile. I’m less in love with the second half which feels very much contrived. It’s still fun , just not quite as much fun until the very end which returns the big ass stupid grin to the face.

The music in the film is great. It moves things along and while it’s attachment to the plot doesn’t allow for any standalone songs, it’s all good. The dance numbers are equally well done and seem to be more on the order of the Fred Astaire films where we see the complete person dancing and carrying on.

What I really liked was the realistic interplay between everyone. (Have you heard the one about the Frenchman and the farmer’s daughter? Yes. Well I’m the Frenchman. No you’re not. How do you know? Because I’m the Farmer’s daughter) There is obvious lust between various people you can feel that people want to jump each other. Beds are not single but big honking ones that couples sleep in. These are people you know or wish you could. It’s kind of like the interplay between Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man, which are my ideal couple.

You really should see this film. It will make you smile.

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