Monte Carlo

Right before he made his first light-comedy masterpiece, 1932?s Trouble in Paradise, German-born director Ernst Lubitsch warmed up with four wispy, racy little musicals, collected in a new boxed set.

The Love Parade (1929)
Maurice Chevalier is a sweetly lecherous count; Jeanette MacDonald is the queen of Sylvania. It’s like a broad version of Scenes From a Marriage, except with songs. Best Musical Moment The wink-winky ”Anything to Please the Queen.” B+

One Hour With You (1932)
The set’s other Chevalier-MacDonald pairing — a cute sex romp full of infidelity — truly embodies ”the Lubitsch touch,” referring to his gift for gentle comic effects. Best Musical Moment The cheery duet ”What a Little Thing Like a Wedding Ring Can Do.” A-

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)
Chevalier falls for a violin-strumming bandleader (Claudette Colbert), but must marry an uptight princess (Miriam Hopkins). Best Musical Moment Hopkins becomes an underwear-burning honky-tonk piano player in ”Jazz Up Your Lingerie.” B

Monte Carlo (1930)
Chevalier sits one out, and boy, is he missed. MacDonald runs off to the Riviera, meets drippy Jack Buchanan, and wears skimpy tops. Gee, they showed a lot of skin in the early ’30s. Best Musical Moment ”Beyond the Blue Horizon” has some sappy charm. C

Monte Carlo
  • Movie
  • 109 minutes