|"The son of a gun is nothing but a tailor!" Screen capture entrants exhibited an unusually high level of confidence last week as they submitted their answers. Interesting, considering that so few managed to guess it correctly. Many were sure it was Dames, though 42nd Street, The Great Ziegfeld, and The Merry Widow had strong showings as well. The answer in fact was Love Me Tonight, Rouben Mamoulian's better-than-magnificent musical starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald.|
If you haven't seen this bit of pre-code naughtiness, go, now, and put it at the top of your Netflix queue. You won't be disappointed. There's an incredible musical sequence set to Rodgers and Hart's Isn't It Romantic, where the song is passed from one stranger to the next, ultimately bridging two characters together in a way that only cinema can. The film features a solid cast, including Myrna Loy as a bored, oversexed Countess, who, when asked if she thinks about anything other than men, responds with, "Yes, schoolboys." Love it.
Andrew Sarris referred to the film as "imitation Lubitsch with too many camera angles" -- an unfair charge. While the film certainly has quite a bit in common with Lubitsch's musicals, Mamoulian's direction here is far more fluid, and the pacing livelier than that of, say, The Smiling Lieutenant.
This week: The New Yorker's Roger Angell spent most of his review imaging the satire that Mad Magazine could make from this film. He may think of it as "hokum of a very high, rich order" but I think it's a masterpiece. This one is too easy, but I feel I owe it to you after last week. Name the film. Submit your answers to this address. Good luck!