Review: ‘Folies Bergere de Paris’

Picture has nothing whatever to do with the Folies Bergere of Paris, except that one of the characters is supposed to be the head comic of the show at the Paris music hall, and that allows for three musical numbers [photographed by Peverell Marley] on the stage thereof. For plot and continuity purposes studio has taken an old continental farce, The Red Cat [by Rudolph Lothar and Hans Adler] and switched it about a bit [in an adaptation by Jessie Ernst].

Picture has nothing whatever to do with the Folies Bergere of Paris, except that one of the characters is supposed to be the head comic of the show at the Paris music hall, and that allows for three musical numbers [photographed by Peverell Marley] on the stage thereof. For plot and continuity purposes studio has taken an old continental farce, The Red Cat [by Rudolph Lothar and Hans Adler] and switched it about a bit [in an adaptation by Jessie Ernst].

Maurice Chevalier does excellent work. He handles the double assignment of Charlier, the Folies comic, and the Baron Cassini. Baron gets into a financial jam so Charlier is hired to impersonate him while he’s off to London to dig up some coin. Baron has been having marital difficulties with his wife, too, and Charlier manages to fix up both the home work and the office work for the baron with happy fadeout all around.

Chevalier shows, perhaps for the first time in films, that he has range as an actor. Ann Sothern as Charlier’s wife is pretty and effective. She sings and dances with Chevalier and makes a definite sock impression. Merle Oberon, as the baron’s wife, on the other hand, gets a tough break.

Dance routines by Dave Gould are nifty.

1935: Best Dance Direction (‘Straw Hat’)

Folies Bergere de Paris

Production

20th Century. Director Roy Del Ruth; Producer William Goetz, Raymond Griffith; Screenplay Bess Meredyth, Hal Long; Camera Barney McGill, Peverell Marley; Editor Allen McNeil, Sherman Todd; Music Alfred Newman (dir.); Art Director Richard Day

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1935. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Maurice Chevalier Ann Sothern Merle Oberon Eric Blore Ferdinand Munier Walter Byron
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