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Tonight Is Ours (1933)


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A fairy tale in cinematic form, "Tonight Is Ours" is a wonderful film that's been forgotten. Never officially released on video or DVD (yet), your best chance of finding it is scouring the cable channels or finding a pirated DVD copy. (Mine looks like it's been pasted together from a variety of sources, none of them good, with a blurry image that flickers like an old silent film. Which, actually, imparts the movie with even more of a fairy tale quality!)


A year after pairing in DeMille's "Sign of the Cross," Claudette Colbert and Fredric March are together again -- here she's Nadya, self-exiled princess of a mythical European kingdom, and March is Sabien, a French national (I assume) who does...well, something. The movie's never very clear on who Sabien is and what he does for a living.


But on the whole this is a great movie. March is good in this -- sometimes he comes off as too stiff (ie "Sign of the Cross"), other times he's incredibly dynamic ("Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"). Here he bridges the gap -- the guy could spin out lovey-dovey dialog better than any other actor in Hollywood, and he pours it on thick for Colbert. And as for Colbert herself -- my god, she is gorgeous in this film. Colbert was beautiful throughout her life, but I've always had a preference for "Early '30s Colbert," with her big eyes, apple cheeks, and bobbed chin-length hair. She is more beautiful in this film than in any other I've seen her in, save for "Sign of the Cross." In fact I might just prefer her here -- though her costumes aren't as revealing as those in "Cross" (and there are no milk baths in sight), she isn't relegated to wearing the stylized wigs she wore in that film.


Pre-Code naughtiness: Lots of dialog about sex -- when stating why she shouldn't be queen, Nadya basically admits to having slept around with several men. When Nadya relates to Sabien why she left her husband the king, we see it happen via flashback -- basically, the king insisted Nadya pretend to be a slave, so he could chase her around, whip her, and then take her. Early in the film Nadya wears a satin gown -- much like the one Clara Bow wore toward the end of "Call Her Savage," during her destruction of the hotel room -- and it's cut so low that Colbert's cleavage basically hangs out. And the Sabien/Nadya consummation scene is lensed as if Ernst Lubitsch was behind the camera -- Sabien turns off the light, and we see the door to the bedroom close behind them.

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>>(Mine looks like it's been pasted together from a variety of sources, none of them good, with a blurry image that flickers)


I'm WAY past the time I used to put up with that crap. There is so much else better to see that is out on legal DVD in beautiful prints, films from all over the world, so much enjoyment to be had. I don't waste my time anymore with stuff I have to strain to watch.

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