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The Love Parade

by Ernst Lubitsch

Count Alfred, military attaché at the Sylvanian Embassy in Paris, is recalled due to his countless love affairs. But back in his home country, instead of punishing him, bachelorette Queen Louise dissolves in his arms. They promptly marry. But as a subject of the realm, Prince Consort Alfred has no rights, either in the regency or in the marriage. When he is expected to grin and bear it for an evening at the opera, he rebels… In his first talkie, Ernst Lubitsch moved the action of “The Taming of the Shrew” into the upper echelon of nobility. While stars Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald fight the battle of the sexes with erotic finesse according to the rules of the Lubitsch touch, the parallel below stairs tussle between their servants (Lupino Lane and Lillian Roth) is more reminiscent of the coarse badinage in Lubitsch’s earlier farce Kohlhiesel’s Daughters. With its hyper-realistic singing interludes, The Love Parade had a lasting influence on the operetta genre. In 1929, Lubitsch said the audience needs to have the ability to transport themselves to a world in which people express their feelings for each other in song.

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