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Love Me Tonight

Love Me Tonight(1932)

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MPAA/PCA files at the AMPAS Library reveal that while most of the songs in the film were approved prior to release, the Hays Office objected to the suggestive nature of the song, "A Woman Needs Something Like That," although it was left in the film. Jesse Lasky, Jr. responded in a letter to the MPPDA's concern about the line "Must we sleep tonight all alone?" in the song "Love Me Tonight," by noting that the line had been changed to "Let's drink deep tonight all alone." Concern that French Royalists might take offense to the film prompted the Hays Office to give a copy of the script to the Los Angeles French consul, Henri Didot. Based on Didot's comments, it was determined that only the scene in which the princess strikes a servant should be deleted. In addition, Didot maintained that as long as the duke and princess were not implied to have royal blood, the film should not give offense. The film was rejected in Czechoslovakia, approved without eliminations in Quebec, New York and Kansas, and approved with eliminations in Australia, Britain, Chicago, Ontario, British Columbia, Ohio, Alberta, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
       Among scenes and dialogue commonly deleted by local censors were references to the "virgin spring"; the scene of the Princess's examination by the physician; and Maurice taking measurements of the princess. In 1937, letters from Joseph I. Breen of the AMPP to Paramount indicate that Breen advised against the re-issue of the film because he felt that the severe editing required to pass the censors would ruin the film. In a 1949 letter, Breen approved a re-release with the following deletions: Any reference to "virgin springs"; the song "A Woman Needs Something Like That"; and the scene of Myrna Loy in a "transparent nightgown." According to a memo in the file, the four-reel re-release was unsuccessful. A news item in Film Daily noted that Robert Coogan was slated for a role in the film.
       According to modern sources, the scenes of Myrna Loy singing "Mimi" and "A Woman Needs Something Like That" were retained for European release. The song "The Man for Me" was apparently dropped prior to the picture's general release. Modern sources include the following additional credits: Sound recording, M. M. Paggi; Film editor, Rouben Mamoulian; and Film cutter, William Shea. Modern sources add the following to the cast: George "Gabby" Hayes (Grocer) and George Humbert (Chef). In 1982, the Director's Guild honored Rouben Mamoulian on the fiftieth anniversary of Love Me Tonight's premiere. Among the notable aspects of the film as noted by modern critics is the use of the zoom shot in the opening sequence. Los Angeles Times noted in a 1982 article the film's pioneering integration of songs and dramatic action. The same article featured an interview with Mamoulian in which he stated that he made this, his favorite film, at the request of Adolph Zukor, and initially developed the film with a music score, not a script. The song "Isn't It Romantic?" later became the title song for a 1948 Paramount release featuring Veronica Lake and Patric Knowles.