MONTE CARLO did much to advance the role of the sound film, still very much in its infancy when this musical comedy was made in 1929. The immensely talented Ernst Lubitsch was able to so integrate the fluid cinematic techniques he'd used in silents with the new-found discovery of sound that
the outcome here is delightful. On the verge of marrying a prince (Claude Allister), countess Jeanette MacDonald dumps the Teutonic twit and boards the "Blue Express" train for Monte Carlo. In Monaco, with little money left, MacDonald checks into a posh hotel, and is spotted immediately in the
casino by a wealthy count (Buchanan) who believes that touching MacDonald's golden tresses will bring him good luck. But when Buchanan strokes MacDonald's hair, it's the countess who begins winning magically, and, not knowing the count's true station in life, she hires him as her
hairdresser-chauffeur-valet. Playing along just to be close to her, Buchanan calls MacDonald nightly, and, without identifying himself, sings his love for her. As her money again begins to run out and she is forced to reconsider marrying Allister, MacDonald grows increasingly frustrated. While
attending "Monsieur Beaucaire" (an opera about a gentleman who poses as a commoner to be near the woman he loves), MacDonald spots Buchanan in a box seat and realizes that he is anything but common. When she confronts him, Buchanan admits that he is also the mysterious caller, and the two live
happily and wealthily forever. Very sweet but not too much so, MONTE CARLO is a charming musical comedy generously blessed with the famous Lubitsch touch. MacDonald looks ravishing and is in wonderful voice; her comic skills are also on prominent display here, especially when she frizzes her hair
in frustration. Costar Buchanan, who wasn't give the chance to transfer his legendary stage charisma to the screen often enough, fares less well. (He wouldn't appear in another American feature until THE BAND WAGON .) Musical selections include: "Day of Days," "Give Me a Moment, Please,"
"This is Something New to Me," "Women, Just Women," "She'll Love Me and Like It," "Always in All Ways."
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- Rating: NR
- Review: MONTE CARLO did much to advance the role of the sound film, still very much in its infancy when this musical comedy was made in 1929. The immensely talented Ernst Lubitsch was able to so integrate the fluid cinematic techniques he'd used in silents with th… (more)