Love Parade, The (1929-30)

Paramount Famous Lasky

In Ernst Lubitsch's charming musical confection, his first sound feature, French actor Maurice Chevalier plays Count Alfred Renard, a military attach from Sylvania, who's called back home from Paris due to “misconduct.”

At home, he falls in love with the lonely queen, played by Jeannette MacDonald. As always, Lubitsch is good at directing riske material, and here the piece de resistance is the scene in which he is summoned to the queen's bedchamber so that she can check what so special about him, or what women see in him. Chevalier dutifully responds by showing his collection of guns and garters.

Ernest Wajda and Guy Bolton's screenplay is based on the play “The Prince Consort,” by Leon Xanrof. Among composer-director Victor Schertzinger and Clifford Grey's songs are Chevalier's “Paris, Stay at Same,” “Nobody's Using It Now,” done as a soliloquy, and Dream Lover,” sung by MacDonald.

“The Love Parade” marks the screen debut of Jeanette MacDonald, who made two more films with Maurice Chevalier for Lubitsch before teaming up with Edie Nelson to form the most successful singing partnership in musical film history.

The supporting cast is excellent, including Lupino Lane and Lillian Roth as the servants of the palace, who deliver with gusto the wonderful number, “Let's Be Common.”

Cast

Count Alfred Renard (Maurice Chevalier)
Queen Louise (Jeanette MacDonald)
Jacques (Lupino Lane)
Lulu (Lillian Roth)
Major Domo (Edward Norton)
Prime Minister (Lionel Barrymore)
Foreign Minister (Albert Roccardi)
Admiral (Carl Stockdale)
Minister of War (Eugene Palette)
Sylvanian Ambassador (E.H. Calvert)

Oscar nominations: 6

Picture, produced by Ernst Lubitsch
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Writing Achievement: Frances Marion
Actor: Maurice Chevalier
Cinematography: Victor Milner
Interior Decoration: Hans Dreier
Sound Recording: Franklin Hansen

Oscar awards: None

Oscar Context:

In 1929-30, “The Love Parade” competed with four other films for the Best Picture Oscar: “All Quiet on the Western Front,” which won, the prison drama, “The Big House,” the biopioc “Disraeli,” and the Norma Shearer star vehicle “The Divorcee.”

George Arliss won the Best Actor for “Disraeli,”; Joseph T. Rucker and Willard Van Der Veer the Cinematography for “With Byrd at the South Pole,” Herman Rosse the Art Direction for “King of Jazz,” and Douglas Shearer (Norma's brother) the Sound for “The Big House.”

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