Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Let's Fall in Love ( 1933 )

Edmund Lowe is a name that is instantly recognizable and yet, even among classic film fans, he is often overlooked as an actor. This gentleman was a leading player in numerous silent films and, after having successfully transitioned to talking pictures, continued to be a big player up until the mid-1930s, when he began to take on more supporting roles. He is best remembered for playing Sergeant Quirt in the 1926 drama What Price Glory? and for his role as Dr. Talbot in Dinner at Eight ( 1933 ). Lowe had great range as an actor and could play romantic parts, dramatic roles, or comedic roles equally well. 

I enjoy him best when he plays a romantic role and one such movie that highlights his light but deft touch as an actor is Let's Fall in Love, a wisp of a musical from Columbia Pictures studio. This film has a simple script that was probably written just to highlight and promote its theme song by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. The tune is quite memorable and very lovely to listen to, especially when it is performed by singer/actress Ann Sothern who had a fine soprano voice ( she sang with Artie Shaw and his Orchestra before becoming an actress ). 

Edmund Lowe plays Kenneth Lane, a director who is anxious to make a film with the Swedish sensation that he had helped mold as a Hollywood star ( sound familiar? ). Unfortunately, stardom went to her head and she becomes so demanding that he fires her from the film. Now, in search of a fresh new face, he puts ads in national papers calling for any and all Swedes to make a screen test. His search comes to an abrupt end when he goes to a traveling carnival and discovers Jean ( Ann Sothern ), a fetching young woman who isn't Swedish at all. He likes her and wants her to be the leading lady in his latest film. But since everyone, including his boss Max ( Gregory Ratoff ) knows he is searching for a Swede he decides to masquerade her as a visiting Swedish model, a plan that backfires on him when his jealous fiancee Lisa ( Betty Furness ) blurts out the truth. 

Let's Fall in Love is just a little over an hour-long but manages to pack in a number of entertaining scenes including some musical numbers. Lowe is wonderful as usual with his expressive features ( carried over from his silent-era days ), Sothern is sweet making googly eyes at him, and Gregory Ratoff is excellent as Max, head of Premier Studios. He later famously played another producer named Max in All About Eve ( 1950 ).  

Also in the cast is Greta Meyer as a jolly Swedish woman, Miriam Jordan, and tenor Arthur Jarrett. The film was remade in 1949 as Slightly French with Don Ameche and Dorothy Lamour playing the leads. 

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