Robert Harris

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Robert Harris
So many interesting angles of discussion with this film.

The director, Rouben Mamoulian, was one of the geniuses of early sound cinema, and probably did more to advance the technology than any other filmmaker in moving the camera toward the freedom that it had in the silent cinema.

His first feature film, Applause (1929) brings audio to the fore. Currently, it seems to be available only on DVD via Kino, but if their present offering via Universal are any indication, it should be along shortly.

Love Me Tonight (1932) shows his understand of audio in spades. Just watch the introductory sequence which leads to the introduction of Maurice Chevalier.

Mr. Chevalier was a cabaret performer in France, worked on the American stage in the early '30s. He was involved in the French cinema beginning in 1908, and first appeared in an American production (for Paramount) in 1929. He worked with Lubitsch in 1929 in The Love Parade, as well as in The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) and One Hour with You (1932).

After a short stint at M-G-M, he made films in the U.K., and then returned to France, before circling back to the Colonies in the mid-'50s.

I'll not get into WWII history here, but whatever truths (or not) are involved, best to research elsewhere.

Mr. Mamoulian directed some extraordinary films between the '30s and 1957. His final work was Silk Stockings (1957) available from WB.

During that period, he directed sixteen films - some brilliant as entertainment, some brilliant as he combined entertainment with the latest in technology, as he did with Becky Sharp in 1935.

His best work, not yet mentioned in this piece: Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Queen Christina (1933), Golden Boy (1939), The Mark of Zorro (1940), and Blood and Sand (1941).

Back to the subject at hand - Love Me Tonight.

Presumably derived from safety protection elements, it is said to be a new 4k master, and by looking at the grain structure, that appears correct.

Overall, a beautifully produced Blu-ray. My only slight problem is that it seems a bit on the heavy side, but it's doubtful that viewers will be troubled by that.

A very important film in the history of early sound, and a (still) wonderfully entertaining production.

Image – 4.25

Audio – 4.5

Pass / Fail - Pass

Upgrade from DVD - Yes

Highly Recommended

RAH
 

Robin9

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I used to see this film on TV when I was in my teens but I haven't seen it in decades. As this disc is so good, I'll have to buy it.
 

cinemel1

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I used to see this film on TV when I was in my teens but I haven't seen it in decades. As this disc is so good, I'll have to buy it.
A professor in a basic film course used Love Me Tonight as an example of what could be done with a moving camera. The introductory sequence using the song Isn’t It Romantic was a remarkable way to introduce the main characters.
 
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B-ROLL

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Mamoulan also worked on Porgy & Bess (1959) and the Dame Elizabeth Taylor-Hilton-Wilding-Todd-Fisher-Burton-Burton-Warner-Fortensky's Cleopatra ..:cool:
 

Matt Hough

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A professor in a basic film course used Love Me Tonight as an example of what could be done with a moving camera. The introductory sequence using the song Isn’t It Romantic was a remarkable way to introduce the main characters.
Absolutely. This is one of THE greatest early sound musicals. The score is superb, its integration into the scenario much advanced for the era, and the performances and direction are delightful. For anyone with even a passing interest in musicals, it's a must!
 

moviepas

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Here is a favorite film that I had on 16mm having been able to buy it in the 1970s when I was getting into film. Bur the best is yet to come: Rouben came to Australia in the 1970s for the Melbourne Film Festival and I was sent free tickets to his two films shown, both on a Saturday afternoon which suited me fine. I went with my youngest sister who was studying accountancy at the Melbourne University where the film City Streets was shown in one of their theatrettes. On another Saturday we went to the Love Me Tonight screening at the biggest theater in the Southern Hemisphere, the Palais St Kilda. This theater has survived bankruptcies and fire attempts and was founded by an American who also founded our still operating Luna Park across the street. Paramount, as it so happens leased this for many years early on as their major first release venue. As a youngster Mom took me and my sisters to see the VistaVision The Seven Little Foys, Love the film but it was not, so far, among the Bob Hope produced films on Blu Ray in recent times. The print of LMT was said to have been the BBC's 35mm copy and the first reel was rather scratched. When the film opened up the audience, many of them Uni students, started laughing at the screen but after about 5 minutes they settled down to watch the rest of the film more behaved. Rouben was a guest at both screenings.

The censored scenes were in vain as, I am told, the film did not have the reissue planned at the time. One is said to be a more revealing chest view of Jeanette in bed with the doctor doing an examination. I guess if we had USB sticks etc then the original footage could have been saved with no space constraints(and no negative destruction). A couple of years or so ago there was a Blu Ray issue of a few early 30s Paramount films in France and I got If I Had a Million (from Amazon France) which has a special place in my heart as how and why I saw it back when on TV but this is not for here. They also announced One Hour With You at the same time and I ordered that too. For some reason it disappeared from my order and I never got it. At this time Australia introduced a 10% sales tax on all imports from $1 up instead of the then 10% only on packages from A$501 upwards and this also was to include all freight-in costs, an unfair situation in anyone's books. Jeff Bezos told our Prime Minister that Australians would no longer be able to buy goods direct from his non-Australian warehouses anymore. It has cost me a lot of money and I have missed many deals, pre-order prices, etc since then. I use another to get my USA discs and some imported to US titles.

One Hour With You replaced a scheduled program late on the night we heard Chevalier had died and I stayed up to watch this broadcast.
 

AnthonyClarke

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Fascinating. I had no idea he directed the original stage versions of Oklahoma! and Carousel. I listen often to those original Broadway cast recordings, both in their very handsome 78 rpm albums, and on the later CDs. My appreciation will be enriched.
 

old mole

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So how much does this disc actually weigh? Is it still light enough to spin in a Blu-ray player?
I,too, am puzzled by what Mr.Harris means by "a bit on the heavy side." Could you clarify, please, before I decide to purchase. Thanks.
 

roxy1927

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This is a good question. I took it to mean it was a bit on the dark side in that its whites and lighter shades weren't 'light' enough.
 

RichMurphy

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Mamoulan also worked on Porgy & Bess (1959) and the Dame Elizabeth Taylor-Hilton-Wilding-Todd-Fisher-Burton-Burton-Warner-Fortensky's Cleopatra ..:cool:
And sadly was fired from both productions, which brought his filmmaking career to an end.

I sampled this new Blu last night, and it looks wonderful. Reading some of the censorship "recommendations" relating to the film (included as an extra) certainly reflects a different era.

It's astonishing to think that this technologically innovative film came only five years after THE JAZZ SINGER.
 

Jim*Tod

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And sadly was fired from both productions, which brought his filmmaking career to an end.

I sampled this new Blu last night, and it looks wonderful. Reading some of the censorship "recommendations" relating to the film (included as an extra) certainly reflects a different era.

It's astonishing to think that this technologically innovative film came only five years after THE JAZZ SINGER.
Just got my copy and looking forward to watching soon.

I guess the odds of ever seeing a decent blu ray of PORGY AND BESS remain poor at best.
 

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