Love Me Tonight
Dir. Rouben Mamoulian. 1932, 89 mins. 35mm. With Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles. From its opening sequence, with the camera floating over the rooftops and through the streets of Paris (Paris, Hollywood, that is), Love Me Tonight, with Maurice Chevalier as a jovial tailor who tries to collect on a bill from a Count—and falls in love with a princess—was the first truly modern movie musical. The Rodgers and Hart songs (including “Mimi” and “Isn’t It Romantic”) are perfectly integrated into the narrative, and Mamoulian showed how to turn a theatrical form into a cinematic experience.
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