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"The Smiling Lieutenant": Jazz up your lingerie!

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One of my favorite Ernst Lubitsch pre-Codes is "The Smiling Lieutenant," and here's my favorite scene from it, where Claudette Colbert instructs rival Miriam Hopkins to "Jazz Up Your Lingerie."




(The clip is over eight minutes, and the song doesn't appear until the five-minute mark, but it at least introduces you to the characters. "Nikki" is Maurice Chevalier's character, who loves Colbert's character but is forced to marry Hopkins.)

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This might just be my favorite number in all the Lubitsch musicals -- this or "Let's Be Common" from Love Parade . SO funny -- Miriam Hopkins has such a delightfully vague quality in all her Lubitsch roles, she's adorable...





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  • 1 year later...

> {quote:title=BelleLeGrand1 wrote:}{quote}

> Just wanted to bring this to the top since *The Smiling Lieutenant* is playing this evening as part of Miriam Hopkins's day. I'm thrilled they are giving this a prime time slot. Great screen caps!


I've seen it recently since it came out on DVD not too long ago, but I'm also very happy to know it's going to be shown on TCM tonight. :D

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It's hard to place that vague quality. But one thing I love about her is the way with her facial expressions: like the second screenshot below (at the piano) with palm open, or also in Lieutenant, when she threatens to marry an American and she bites her thumb. Or in Trouble in Paradise when she's laughing with Kay Francis, abruptly stops laughing and then leers at Kay out of the corner of her eyes.

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