On the Riviera
Release year: 1951
Director: Walter Lang
Screenwriter: Valentine Davies, Phoebe Ephron, Henry Ephron, Rudolph Lothar (based on the play ‘The Red Cat’ by)
Starring: Danny Kaye, Gene Tierney, Corinne Calvet, Marcel Dalio, Jean Murat, Henri Letondal, Clinton Sundberg
Ratings: 2 Oscar nominations: Best Art Direction, Best Music
Moviegeek Sunday Classic #322, week 36 2020
When an American entertainer (Kaye) discovers he has an uncanny resemblance to the wealthy and girl happy aviator Captain Henri Duran (Kaye) he starts impersonating him on his show with great success. But when he is asked to join a party at Duran’s mansion, he gets involved in mix ups involving Duran’s business associates and his highly neglected wife (Tierney).
It is easy to see the point in making the multi-talented Kaye (White Christmas, 1954) an entertainer and make use of his singing talents, but starting the movie with a series of songs which aren’t particular great makes the beginning of the movie rather uninteresting. However, when he arrives at Duran’s house and the confusion between the two characters kicks into gear, so does the movie. Kaye is charming as Jack and elegantly cool as Duran and share some of the best scenes with a stunning looking Tierney (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, 1947) as the neglected but loving wife. A fun, warm and breezy comedy showing the many talents of the great Kaye.
The first movie based on Lothar’s play was the French movie L’homme des folies Bergère from 1935.
The painting of Gene Tierney’s character over the fireplace is the famous portrait of her character in Laura (1944) and the only chance to see it in colour.
The dance sequences were choreographed and staged by Jack Cole who also worked on movie like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and Les Girls (1957).
Picture copyrights: SF Films