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Love Me Tonight

(1932 b 88')

En: 8 Ed: 8

Rodgers and Hart wrote the music and lyrics for this ground-breaking musical about a romance between a Paris tailor and a princess based on the play by Leopold Marchant and Paul Armont.

Amid the rhythmic sounds of Paris working, the tailor Maurice Courtelin (Maurice Chevalier) greets people cheerfully. The Viscount de Varese (Charles Ruggles) has ordered fifteen suits from Maurice and promises to pay later, borrowing another 2,000 francs. Maurice and all of Paris seem to be singing "Isn't It Romantic?" The Count de Savignac (Charles Butterworth) climbs a ladder to the balcony of Princess Jeanette (Jeanette MacDonald) but makes no impression. Countess Valentine (Myrna Loy) asks her uncle the duke (C. Aubrey Smith) for money, but the answer is no. The duke also denies money to the viscount. When the merchants discover that the viscount never pays his bills, Maurice volunteers to go with the goods and make him pay. His taxi breaks down in the country, where the princess drives her carriage off the road. Maurice calls her a dream and sings "Mimi."

The princess goes home and faints. Her physician has her remove her dress and declares that the 22-year-old widow needs a husband of the right age. Maurice enters the chateau and asks the viscount for the 63,000 francs. The viscount calls him a baron and invites him to stay. The duke and others sing "Mimi." The Count de Savignac can find no baron of Courtelin. The princess arranges for Maurice to ride the wild horse Solitude in the hunt, and he takes off ahead of the others. The princess finds Maurice in a cottage feeding a stag. He tells the hunters to go back. At a costume ball Maurice shows up in a turtleneck and a modern suit. He kisses the princess twice, and she slaps him twice; then she kisses him. He is happy and sings, "Love Me Tonight." She says she loves him whoever he is. She asks him about a new riding habit, and he suggests improvements that he can fix, insulting the woman tailor, who arouses the household. Maurice asks for two hours to fix it, and the viscount bets the count 50,000 francs that he can. Maurice tells the princess he is a tailor and not a baron. The duke says he will pay Maurice and then kick him out, and everyone sings that the son of a gun is "Nothing But a Tailor." Maurice takes the train back to Paris, and the princess rides after him. They shout they love each other, but the train will not stop until she rides ahead and stands on the tracks.

Poetic lyrics enhance this fine musical with the theme of romance and marriage between those in different social classes. The charm of Maurice is so charismatic he can even stop a brutal hunt.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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