vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Jazz up your lingerie!

As a leap year gift to you, check out this excerpt from Ernst Lubitsch's 1931 masterpiece, "The Smiling Lieutenant," now part of a collection of Lubitsch musicals recently released on DVD (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/51504.html).

This features Claudette Colbert, as the leader of an all-girl orchestra, and Miriam Hopkins, as the princess of a fictional small country. (Carole Lombard sought in vain to be cast in the Hopkins role.) Colbert's character loves the dashing lieutenant of the film's title, portrayed by star Maurice Chevalier...but due to a mixup, he ends up married to the rather strait-laced Hopkins character, and it's not working out. What to do?

Well, Colbert's character visits Hopkins and decides to bow out gracefully -- but before she does, she compares Miriam's rather dowdy undergarments to the bland sheet music near the princess' piano. Claudette's advice? "Jazz Up Your Lingerie"!

Hopkins indeed heeds her suggestion -- goodbye, Victorian underwear; hello, step-ins!

The clip runs a bit over eight minutes, and the song doesn't appear until the five-minute mark, but it gives you a feel for these characters and for the inimitable Lubitsch "touch." It's simultaneously charming, funny and outrageous. Enjoy!

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