The Way to Love
Cast & Crew
Edward Everett Horton
François, a cheerful Parisian bohemian, wants more than anything to be a tour guide in his beloved city. Presently, however, he is a walking advertisement for Professor Gaston Bibi, who is in the business of "l'amour." Bibi helps the adulterers of Paris deceive their spouses by making mock postcards of them in exotic places and administering suntans to those who are supposed to have been at the sea. While working the streets for Bibi, François meets Madeleine, who is the target for circus knife-thrower Pedro, her guardian. Pedro is brutally jealous of Madeleine's associations with other men, and when he sees her with François, he beats her. Later, François rescues a dog who is believed rabid and, while chasing it, finds Madeleine running away from Pedro for the ninth time and takes her home to his rooftop apartment, which he shares with American composer Joe and performer Suzanne. Madeleine's dream is to open her own puppet show at the circus, and she eagerly makes a puppet of François as a tour guide. He, however, does not behave romantically toward her, so Joe proposes, but she refuses. Although he denies his love, François skips a date with another woman to come home to Madeleine. Pedro then arrives with a policeman, and Madeleine is forced to return to him unless she marries. Although Joe offers, François gallantly insists he be her husband, but does not swear his love. François is finally hired as a guide and tells Bibi of his impending marriage. Bibi's wife Rosalie, however, wants François to marry her homely niece Annette and convinces Madeleine that if she loves François, she will let him marry a decent woman with a dowry. When François arrives home that night, he swears his love to Madeleine, but she tells him there is another man and leaves him to return to Pedro. Bibi, meanwhile, discovers Rosalie's scheme and quarrels with her. After Bibi is kicked out of the house, he hires François as his guide and they get drunk together and go about Paris clipping men's ties. When François finds a fight promoter at the circus with Madeleine's tour guide puppet, he is tricked into fighting a professional and wins, then finds Madeleine back at her old job. François fights Pedro and wins, then rides the carousel with Madeleine.
Edward Everett Horton
Mutt, A Dog
H. T. Fritch
This film was also called Way to Love. According to Hollywood Reporter, Paramount filmed a French-language version, L'amour guide, simultaneously with the English version.
According to news items in Hollywood Reporter, Sylvia Sidney, originally cast to play Madeleine, was on the set from 14 June-13 Jul, when production was halted because Sidney underwent a throat operation. On 27 Jul, Paramount producer Emanuel Cohen told Sidney she could return to the set when she was fully recovered, but requested that she not leave Los Angeles. In the meantime, production started on the French version under Norman Taurog's direction. On 31 Jul, however, Sidney reportedly walked out on the picture when she flew to Europe with Paramount executive B. P. Schulberg, who had urged Sidney to take a long rest. Upon her departure, Paramount filed charges against Sidney with the conciliation committee of AMPAS, hoping not only to prevent her from leaving the country, but to establish a rule of conduct for all artists that would make "a recurrence of such professional anarchy impossible." Pending a hearing at the actors' branch of the Academy, Sidney reportedly settled a contract dispute with Adolph Zukor to avoid the hearing.
According to the Paramount Script Collection at the AMPAS Library, sequences "E" and "F" of the script for the English version (when François first takes Madeleine home and her first night on the rooftop) were altered for the French version: instead of François taking Madeleine home after Pedro throws a knife at her, he saves Madeleine after Pedro physically attacks her. According to a modern source, songwriters Ralph Rainger and Leo Robin picked fifty words to be used exclusively in Chevalier's lyrics that American audiences could understand. A modern source states that "Mutt," who played François' dog "Casanova," was a famous film dog owned by Henry East.