Maurice Chevalier dies of cardiac arrest after kidney surgery in Paris, 1972. The French entertainer came to Hollywood in the late 1920s and began his first of four films with Jeanette MacDonald, 1929’s The Love Parade. “I later heard her referred to as The Iron Butterfly,” Chevalier said of his frequent costar, “although I was surprised to hear that she found that amusing. I never thought she had much of a sense of humor. When we worked together, she always objected to anyone telling a risqué story.” MacDonald once referred to Chevalier as “the quickest derriere pincher in Hollywood.” They would go on to make Love Me Tonight (1932), One Hour with You (1932) and The Merry Widow (1934). These last two movies were filmed twice—in English and in French. Chevalier had no problem with either tongue, of course, and MacDonald could successfully speak and sing in the language. Much of the American supporting casts, however, had to be replaced with French-speaking actors.
Entries in love me tonight (2)
Rouben Mamoulian dies of natural causes in Woodland Hills, California, 1987. The acclaimed director favored expressionism over realism, remarking that “realism and naturalism are not for me. I think it’s too feeble an instrument.” Among his best movies is the fanciful Love Me Tonight (1932), a musical comedy starring Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles and Myrna Loy. The tone is set early on, as the rhythmic noise of a Paris street slowly coming to life builds to a jazzy, percussive symphony. The film also includes the classic Rogers and Hart tune “Isn’t It Romantic,” a number that begins with Chevalier in a tailor’s shop, makes it way to the street, into a taxi, onto a train, then spreads like a wonderful virus to marching soldiers, a gypsy camp and, finally, to MacDonald at a country estate miles away from where the song began.
“Isn’t It Romantic”: