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(Review originally written at 1 January 2008)

This is one incredible charming musical/comedy, from the early '30's. And that coming from a non-musical fan of course says a lot.

It's not a musical with big dance acts, feather costumes, or anything of that sort but just a movie that happens to feature songs in it, which is the sort of musical approach I prefer. The characters would often burst into singing in the middle of the movie, which of course sounds totally ridicules but it's so charming and the songs are so nice that it attributes to what it is that makes this movie so irresistible, joyful and entertaining to watch. This is really not the sort of movie you would expect from the guy who had previously directed "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" before this movie.

Maurice Chevalier didn't had the best signing voice, also of course due to his accent and also especially compared to different genre actors from the same time period. Same goes for most of the actors within this movie. But I sort of like that he isn't perfect in his signing. It seems to fit the movie and its style.

The movie has got some nice cheerful innocent humor in it. The great fun but of course simple written script, contributes to the whole fun feeling and atmosphere of the movie.

The movie doesn't necessarily really has a typical '30's style and more seems ahead of its time. It also makes this movie feel less outdated than most others, especially from the same genre, movies.

The cinematography is really amazing at times. It moves a lot, with pans and also zooms. It makes the cinematography in parts pretty original and innovating for its time. The movie also features some other 'tricks', such as split-screen and slow-motion, among other things. Perhaps this has to do with the Russian origin of director Rouben Mamoulian. His style seems more innovating than most of his fellow Hollywood colleagues from the same time period. It all adds to the atmosphere and unique quality of the movie. It of course also helps that the movie is set in France and Paris. It always has been the best backdrop for these sort of movies. There also was obviously put some effort and money into the sets of the movie.

Some real quality entertainment! This is as good as they can get.

10/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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