Review: ‘Tovarich’

With a distinguished record in legit theatres, both here and abroad, [Jacques Deval's play] Tovarich emerges from its Warner filming [of the English version by Robert E. Sherwood] as a piece of popular entertainment, plus the very considerable drawing value of Claudette Colbert and Charles Boyer. Story changes are not radical (one or two modifications being prompted by censorship restrictions).

With a distinguished record in legit theatres, both here and abroad, [Jacques Deval’s play] Tovarich emerges from its Warner filming [of the English version by Robert E. Sherwood] as a piece of popular entertainment, plus the very considerable drawing value of Claudette Colbert and Charles Boyer. Story changes are not radical (one or two modifications being prompted by censorship restrictions).

Boyer’s diction is difficult to comprehend in several places. His accent is enhanced by the fact that only he, of all the players, speaks rapidly. Only in brief moments does Colbert convey the dignity, bearing and fine humor of a Russian imperial princess.

Litvak seems imbued with the idea that he had to make Tovarich look like a big picture, whereas the story of the royal refugee couple, who enter domestic service in the household of a Paris banker, is a yarn of charming and finely shaded characterizations.

Of the supporting cast Melville Cooper, as the banker, and Basil Rathbone as a commissar contribute splendid characterizations.

Tovarich

Production

Warner. Director Anatole Litvak; Producer [Robert Lord]; Screenplay Casey Robinson; Camera Charles Lang; Editor Henri Rust; Music Max Steiner; Art Director Anton Grot

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1937. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Claudette Colbert Charles Boyer Basil Rathbone Anita Louise Melville Cooper Isabel Jeans
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