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Pre-Code Film: #12

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Cast: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles, Myrna Loy, C. Aubrey Smith
Director: Rouben Mamoulian

Pre-code musicals are always good fun. It's quite easy to make songs suggestive, so it's oftentimes the musicals that are the most pre-code-y films. Love Me Tonight is actually one of the tamer ones, but it's full of subtly sexy fun, something that filled all of the films Chevalier and MacDonald made together. I've always preferred MacDonald with Chevalier over MacDonald and Eddy. I always found the latter pair quite boring, whereas MacDonald and Chevalier were so sexy and fun.

Love Me Tonight has Chevalier as his typical ladies man in love. His opening song is one of the more rauncy numbers in the film, in it's little subtle way. Myrna Loy plays a man-hungry princess (she did a lot of that in the pre-code era), and there's the great scene seen above, where MacDonald must strip down to her underwear so Chevalier can make her a new riding outfit.
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On June 25th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC), siochembio commented:
Stumbled here through various classic film communties...

Just had to comment on this one. I saw it for the first time about a month ago, and it's one of my new favorite films ever. It's so joyful and so fun. I actually found it VERY raunchy, and not particularly subtle about it. The fact that Maurice sings "Mimi," nothing more than an overt sexual proposition, right after meeting Jeanette is... well, amazing. And I enjoyed the split screen shot of the two in their "respective" bed(s) right after they sing "Love Me Tonight."

What I enjoyed most about the film, though, was its surprising emotional weight. I don't mean to say the film finds new depths of emotional intensity or any other such nonsense, but I felt that Chevalier in particular delivered a very good performance. When he asks Jeanette, after revealing he's a tailor, "Does it really make THAT much difference?" is surprisingly heartfelt and laced with heartache and disappointment. I wasn't expecting that, especially not from such a light hearted film. As such, it made me believe in the characters even more. This might sound stupid, but I really believed they were in love with each other.

Anyway. Just had to comment. I just adore this movie.
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