This film, starring Herbert Marshall, is set in romantic Venice and Paris. These two places, where anyone can envision romance and even intrigue, let the reader know it’s snuggle up time. This story of lies, romance, and crime takes a man who meets his match and then lets him get involved with a woman of means. Which woman has his heart? Hard to tell.
Kay Francis plays Madame Colet, millionairess in charge of Colet perfume company in Paris. In spite of her obvious intelligence, she gets mixed up with the very charming Herbert Marshall as Gaston Monescu and allows herself to fall in love with him. Of course the fact that he’s her assistant makes things a bit dicey. Some may whisper how strange it is that she’s dating a new employee.
When the audience first sees Miriam Hopkins as Lily, we figure out quickly that she and Gaston are a perfect match. However, when she sees how Gaston is setting up a huge scam at the Colet mansion, she wonders just how involved her husband is.
This is not quite the romance I usually enjoy because the story is about an antihero. I love a good romance with a Happy Ever After, but when the bad guy gets away with it and don’t seem to have learned anything, that kind of takes away the shine. No real sparkle in the happy ending.
However, I would watch it again to see the way the movie was put together. Director Ernst Lubitsch did a fantastic job of making this story memorable. Even the beginning frames of the movie were not the cliché location set up. I thought I knew what was going to happen next, but I was enjoying getting there. Everything had a certain kind of surprise feeling to it.
Herbert Marshall’s scenes kept me wanting to see more of him, but I have to admit I’m also a big fan of Edward Everett Horton. The scenes with them together showed how you mix humor with glamour and deception. The combination of acting talent, writing and directing made it impossible to not like this movie.