AFS Precode Treasures: 'The Smiling Lieutenant' in 35mm
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A frankly sexual musical from master Ernst Lubitsch.
Casanova Maurice Chevalier is torn between sexy bandleader Claudette Colbert and dowdy princess Miriam Hopkins. All of the leads are at the top of their game and the amount of charm on-screen rivals any other film ever made. As is usual with Lubitsch, the sex narrative is always underneath it all, and it drives the characters to do ridiculous, and hilarious, things. The climactic musical number is about underwear, if that tells you anything about where this film’s heart is.
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