The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)
as Lieutenant Niki
as Princess Anna
as King Adolf XV
as Baroness von Schwedel
as Adjutant von Rockoff
as Count Von Halden
as Master of ceremonies
as Bill collector
as Count von Halden
as Arresting Officer
Critic Reviews for The Smiling Lieutenant
It's quintessential Lubitsch in the way it suggests sexual dalliance with the brightening or darkening of a gas lamp outside a bedroom.
Lubitsch's glissando rhythm is a thin veneer that never softens the essential cruelty of the story
Lubitsch pokes sly fun at the antics of his European aristocrats, but concurs with the film's conclusion that beauty is skin deep enough.
Audience Reviews for The Smiling Lieutenant
I'll be honest, Claudette Colbert is very cute and she made this movie for me. The plot has a somewhat dippy Maurice Chevalier marrying a Princess (Miriam Hopkins) to avoid an international incident, thus breaking his lover's (Colbert's) heart. When she arranges to meet up with him anyway, she's caught by Hopkins, and after a mutual, (hilariously overwrought) cry, she tells Hopkins (in song) that in order to keep Chevalier, "Jazz Up Your Lingerie". The movie is pre-Code which made scenes like that possible, as well as allude to unmarried sex between Colbert and Chevalier, and Hopkins's desire to consummate her marriage. This naughtiness is also part of the movie's charm. It's interesting that the movie wrong-foots us by having the 'wrong girl' get the man. A big hit in 1931 and nominated by the Academy for Best Picture, it's still very watchable 85 years later.
I absolutely love Chevalier pictures. They are tremendously silly but they have a riske element to them that is delightful. Colbert and Chevalier have fantastic chemistry.
I really enjoyed this movie, it was hilarious. Sure, it's got a pretty normal romance going on, but it is one of those comedies with a lot of mistakes that turn out very funny. The cast is great too, I loved Chevalier and Colbert and Hopkins together as the love triangle. If you like them or just enjoy romantic comedies, I recommend this.
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