Lubitsch Musicals - Eclipse Series 8 in February

**Criterion** has announced a February 12th release date for Lubitsch Musicals - Criterion Eclipse Series 8. The 4-Disc DVD set will retail for $59.95, but is available at for only $43.99. The titles are The Love Parade (1929), (1930), Monte CarloThe Smiling Lieutenant (1931) and One Hour With You (1932). Consistent with Criterion's Eclipse line, it will contain no bonus features and will only be sold as a boxed set. Stars include Jeanette MacDonald, Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Charles Ruggles, Lionel Belmore, Jack Buchanan, Zasu Pitts, Genevieve Tobin and Roland Young. More details below.

Not only the man who refined Hollywood comedy with such masterpieces as Trouble in Paradise, The Shop Around the Corner, and To Be or Not to Be, Ernst Lubitsch also helped invent the modern movie musical. With the advent of sound and audiences clamoring for "talkies," Lubitsch combined his love of European operettas and his mastery of film to create this entirely new genre. These elegant, bawdy films, made before strict enforcement of the Hays morality code, feature some of the greatest stars of early Hollywood (Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins), as well as that elusive style of comedy that would thereafter be known as "the Lubitsch touch."

The Love Parade (1929)
Ernst Lubitsch’s first "talking picture" was also Hollywood's first movie musical to integrate songs with narrative. Additionally, The Love Parade made stars out of toast-of-Paris Maurice Chevalier and girl-from-Philly Jeanette MacDonald, cast as a womanizing military attaché and the man-hungry queen of "Sylvania." With its naughty innuendo and satiric romance, The Love Parade opened the door for a decade of witty screen battles of the sexes.

Monte Carlo (1930)
Jeanette MacDonald's independent-minded countess leaves her foppish prince fiance at the altar, and whisks herself away to the Riviera. There, she strikes the fancy of the sly Count Rudolph (Broadway crossover Jack Buchanan), who poses as a hairdresser to get into her boudoir. Lubitsch's follow-up to The Love Parade shows even more musical invention, and presents MacDonald at her haughty best.

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)
Maurice Chevalier's randy Viennese lieutenant is enamored of Claudette Colbert's freethinking, all-girl-orchestra-leading cutie. Yet complications ensue when the repressed princess of the fictional kingdom of Flausenthurm, played by newcomer Miriam Hopkins, sets her sights on him. The Smiling Lieutenant is a delightful showcase for its rising female stars, who are never more charming than when Colbert tunefully instructs Hopkins, "Jazz Up Your Lingerie.

One Hour With You (1932)
Lubitsch reunites Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, this time as a seemingly blissful couple whose marriage hits the skids when her flirtatious school chum comes on to her husband a bit too strong. Necking in the park at nighttime, husbands and wives having casual dalliances, and a butler telling his master, "I did so want to see you in tights!": it's one of Lubitsch's sauciest escapades and his final pre-Code musical.

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