Love Me Tonight

Love Me Tonight

Director: Rouben Mamoulian

Cast: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charlie Ruggles

     
 

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Sometimes one can get the impression that it's only the major video companies, such as Warner Home Video or FoxVideo, that do full justice to vintage movies, and especially musicals, on DVD. Musicals do take a special kind of handling that seems to elude even such companies as Columbia and Paramount. Then along comes this Kino International release of Rouben Mamoulian… See more details below

Overview

Sometimes one can get the impression that it's only the major video companies, such as Warner Home Video or FoxVideo, that do full justice to vintage movies, and especially musicals, on DVD. Musicals do take a special kind of handling that seems to elude even such companies as Columbia and Paramount. Then along comes this Kino International release of Rouben Mamoulian's 1932 Love Me Tonight to show what even an independent producer/distributor can do with a good musical title. Apart from the inclusion of the original trailer and the Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier excerpts from the Paramount newsreel series "Newsreel on Parade, the disc contains some very amusing censorship records from the files of the studio, showing the worries elicited by some of the racier Lorenz Hart lyrics -- which wouldn't raise an eyebrow on Broadway -- and also deleted excerpts from the script. The main virtue of the disc, however, (beyond a sparkling transfer of the movie) is the inclusion of Miles Kreuger's commentary track. A veteran musical expert with an encyclopedic knowledge of his field, Kreuger is endowed with fascinating and subtly witty observations, delivering his comments a little deadpan (which only makes the humor that much more effective). His account of the movie's production history and Mamoulian's involvement with the film is fascinating, and his story of the manner in which the director integrated Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart into the creation of the movie should be of interest to fans of Hollywood films in general, as the result had a profound effect on the musical genre as well as on Rodgers' development as a composer. There is only a single flaw, a moment of what sounds like audio distortion at 39 minutes in on the commentary track, but otherwise this is about as perfect a presentation of the movie as we're likely to get. Kreuger even walks us through the lyrics and shots that were cut by the censors for the late '40s release of the movie, explaining precisely what is missing from the movie. The film has been given a generous 18 chapters, which includes every musical number and plot development, such as it is. The disc opens automatically to a complex two-layer menu that is very easy to use and maneuver around in.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
One of the most technically accomplished early sound musicals, Rouben Mamoulian's Love Me Tonight (1932) seamlessly and imaginatively blends sound and image, moving beyond the stagy style of the first movie musicals. Rather than singling out song performances, as in backstage musicals, the classic score by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, including "Mimi" and "Lover," is gracefully integrated into the plot. "Isn't It Romantic" becomes a tour de force of foreshadowing, as the song moves verse by verse from Maurice Chevalier's opening lines in Paris, to singing soldiers and travelers outside the city, to Chevalier's soon-to-be love interest Jeanette MacDonald at a country estate. The rhythmic street sounds in the opening Paris sequence, the precise cuts in "The Sonofagun Is Nothing But a Tailor," the slow-motion fox hunt, and a parody of Sergei Eisenstein's editing style further attest to Mamoulian's technical acuity. With its cross-class fairy tale love story tempered by Ernst Lubitsch-style, pre-Production Code sophisticated comedy, and a supporting cast including Myrna Loy as a nymphomaniac and Charles Butterworth as a deadpan noble, Love Me Tonight's non-musical content matches the charm of its songs, making it one of the best musicals of the 1930s.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/25/2003
UPC:
0738329032227
Original Release:
1932
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kino Video
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:29:00

Special Features

Maurice Chevalier sings Louise; Jeanette MacDonald sings Love Me Tonight (from the Paramount newsreel series Hollywood on Parade); Audio commentary and booklet essay by Miles Kreuger, founder and president of the Institute of the American Musical Inc.; Original theatrical trailer; Screenplay excerpts of deleted scenes; Production documents and censorship records; Gallery of photos and promotional material

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Maurice Chevalier Maurice Courtelin
Jeanette MacDonald Princess Jeanette
Charlie Ruggles Viscount de Varese
Charles Butterworth Count de Savignac
Myrna Loy Countess Valentine
C. Aubrey Smith Duke
Elizabeth Patterson First Aunt
Ethel Griffies Second Aunt
Joseph Cawthorn Dr. Armand de Fontinac
Ethel Wales Madame Dutoit, Dressmaker
Mary Doran Madame Dupont
Bert Roach Emile
Cecil Cunningham Laundress
Edgar Norton Valet
Marion Byron Bakery Girl
George Davis Pierre Dupont
Rita Owin Chambermaid
Tom Ricketts Actor
Blanche Frederici Third Aunt
Robert Greig Major-Domo Flamond
Tyler Brooke Composer
Sam Harris Bridge Player
Herbert Mundin Groom
Rolfe Sedan Taxi Driver
George Humbert Chef
Tony Merlo Hatmaker
William H. Turner Bootmaker
Gordon Westcott Collector
George "Gabby" Hayes Grocer
Clarence H. Wilson Shirtmaker

Technical Credits
Rouben Mamoulian Director,Producer
Travis Banton Costumes/Costume Designer
Hans Dreier Art Director
Nathaniel W. Finston Musical Direction/Supervision
A.E. Freudeman Set Decoration/Design
Lorenz Hart Score Composer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Samuel Hoffenstein Screenwriter
George Marion Screenwriter
Victor Milner Cinematographer
Richard Rodgers Score Composer
William Shea Editor
Merrill White Editor
Waldemar Young Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Titles
2. "The Song of Paree"
3. Introducing Maurice
4. Opening Shop
5. "Isn't It Romantic?"
6. The Fairy Princess
7. "Lover"
8. "Mimi"
9. "A Woman Needs Something Like That"
10. "Mimi" (Reprise)
11. The Hunt
12. The Costume Ball
13. "I'm an Apache"
14. "Love Me Tonight"
15. The Fitting Session
16. ."..Nothing but a Tailor"
17. Princess in the Tower
18. A Race for Love!

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