One Hour with You (1932)

75 or 80 mins | Romantic comedy | 25 March 1932

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HISTORY

An English-language version of Lothar Schmidt's play opened in New York on 29 Oct 1913. This film was a musical remake of Ernst Lubitsch's second American film, The Marriage Circle (also based on Lothar Schmidt's play Only a Dream ), which Lubitsch directed for Warner Bros. in 1924, starring Florence Vidor and Monte Blue. The Marriage Circle contained the same "switch of the wrists" bit used in this film when "André," caught by the professor holding "Mitzi's" wrist, pretends to be taking her pulse. The most important plot difference between The Marriage Circle and this film was that, unlike the original film, in which the husband and wife are merely tempted to have an affair, "André" apparently does sleep with Mitzi; his infidelity unbalances Colette's attempts to establish a quid pro quo at the end of the film, when she asks André to please forgive her for what she didn't do.
       Lubitsch supervised the pre-production of this film, but because his anti-war drama, The Man I Killed , ran over schedule, Paramount assigned George Cukor to direct this film, with Lubitsch supervising. HR reported on 13 Nov 1931, the first day of production (at Paramount's Hollywood studios), that Lubitsch had finally okayed Samson Raphaelson's script after making several important changes. Raphaelson, a Broadway dramatist, was the sole writer or a collaborator on nine Lubitsch films. During filming, a dispute occurred between Cukor and Chevalier over Cukor's direction. In an interview quoted in a modern source, Raphaelson recounts the incidents that brought about Cukor's dismissal: Lubitsch asked Raphaelson to view the early ... More Less

An English-language version of Lothar Schmidt's play opened in New York on 29 Oct 1913. This film was a musical remake of Ernst Lubitsch's second American film, The Marriage Circle (also based on Lothar Schmidt's play Only a Dream ), which Lubitsch directed for Warner Bros. in 1924, starring Florence Vidor and Monte Blue. The Marriage Circle contained the same "switch of the wrists" bit used in this film when "André," caught by the professor holding "Mitzi's" wrist, pretends to be taking her pulse. The most important plot difference between The Marriage Circle and this film was that, unlike the original film, in which the husband and wife are merely tempted to have an affair, "André" apparently does sleep with Mitzi; his infidelity unbalances Colette's attempts to establish a quid pro quo at the end of the film, when she asks André to please forgive her for what she didn't do.
       Lubitsch supervised the pre-production of this film, but because his anti-war drama, The Man I Killed , ran over schedule, Paramount assigned George Cukor to direct this film, with Lubitsch supervising. HR reported on 13 Nov 1931, the first day of production (at Paramount's Hollywood studios), that Lubitsch had finally okayed Samson Raphaelson's script after making several important changes. Raphaelson, a Broadway dramatist, was the sole writer or a collaborator on nine Lubitsch films. During filming, a dispute occurred between Cukor and Chevalier over Cukor's direction. In an interview quoted in a modern source, Raphaelson recounts the incidents that brought about Cukor's dismissal: Lubitsch asked Raphaelson to view the early rushes with him, and they agreed that Cukor's direction did not match Raphaelson and Lubitsch's conception of comedy. Although Cukor remained on the set, Lubitsch took over direction after two weeks. Var reported on 15 Dec 1931, "Ernst Lubitsch is supervising Chevalier's One Hour With You with his meg in hand. George Cukor, titular director, does considerable sitting out while Lubitsch uses his influence with the French star." When Lubitsch demanded sole directing credit, Cukor sued for the same thing, but HR announced on 27 Feb 1932 that Paramount claimed Cukor had nothing to do with the film after the first several days of shooting. Var reported on 8 Mar 1932 that Cukor had asked for an injunction against the film's exhibition unless his credit as director was restored. Reportedly, the contention was that Cukor's credit was removed from the screen credits after the preview when Lubitsch informed Paramount that either his or Cukor's name would have to come down. According to a modern source, a court ruling restored Cukor to full co-directorship, but by that time, the film had been released. In interviews with Gavin Lambert conducted at the AFI Center for Advanced Studies between Aug 1970 and Apr 1971, Cukor said that the incident was settled out of court. As reported in Var on 5 Apr 1932, Cukor eventually compromised with an assistant director credit and the chance to break his contract at Paramount to direct a film starring Constance Bennett at RKO (that film was What Price Hollywood .) An ad in Var on 22 Mar 1932, gave sole directing credit to Lubitsch, but on 5 Apr, an ad stated that Lubitsch was "assisted by George Cukor." In the AFI interviews, Cukor said that B. P. Schulberg, head of Paramount, saw a lot of rushes and didn't like them. It was "goddamned agony for me," Cukor said. "I sat on the set and minded my P's and Q's. When it was over, B. P. Schulberg...called me in and said, "I'm going to ask you to do me a little favor....I'd like to take your name off this thing."
       Throughout the film, Chevalier's character speaks in asides to the audience, in which he asks their advice and apprises them of his romantic quandaries. Contemporary news items state that Raphaelson wrote a new ending, which Lubitsch shot at Paramount's Astoria studios on 11 Feb 1932 because Chevalier was appearing in concert in New York. In the original "final" script dated 24 Dec 1931 (contained in the Paramount collection in the AMPAS Library) after the "eye for an eye" line, "Colette" goes upstairs, and "André" (called "Henri" in the unrevised script) kisses "Adolph" on both cheeks, and he leaves. "André" goes happily upstairs, but then comes out of "Colette's" bedchamber and addresses the audience. The script reads: "Ladies and gentlemen. There must be no misunderstanding between us....I have said there was nothing wrong between Mitzi and me....Now I'm sure the ladies believe me. But the gentlemen may say, 'Did you really drink brandy?'...I will tell you exactly what happened. We arrived at Mitzi's house at 2:53. Mitzi handed me the key, and, naturally, I opened the door. We went up the stairs. Mitzi handed me another key, and I opened the door to her apartment. We went into her apartment and we sat down in the living room.... FADE OUT "
       While not considered a musical per se , this film contains numerous songs and metered dialogue, and NYT calls it "almost an operetta." A MPH exploitation review warns that this film may be "a bit risque" for small town audiences, and that neighborhood theatres should "play away from Sundays." A news item in Var states that Paramount agreed to a promotional deal with American Tobacco for the picture. Chevalier, MacDonald, Tobin, Ruggles, and Young reportedly restaged their film dialogue for the "Lucky Strikes" NBC broadcast without monetary compensation; Lubitsch also made a guest appearance. An unidentified contemporary news item states that, during an interview on the Paramount set, MacDonald and Chevalier compared salaries, and Chevalier was surprised to learn that his co-star earned £2,000 per week for eighteen weeks, compared to his £1,000. A French-language version of this film, Une heure près de toi was shot simultaneously with the American version. The film received an Academy Award nomination in the Outstanding Production category. According to a modern source, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis were originally set to co-star in the American version. Modern sources list the following additional cast members: Florine McKinney ( Girl ), Donald Novis ( Singer ), Eric Wilton ( Butler ) and Bill Elliott ( Dancer ). Modern sources also list the following credits: Ed William Shea, Art dir Hans Dreier, and Set dec A. E. Freudeman. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
19 Feb 32
p. 4.
Film Daily
21 Feb 32
p. 5.
Film Daily
6 Mar 32
p. 10.
HF
21 Jan 33
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 31
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 32
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 32
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 32
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 32
p. 1.
International Photographer
Apr 32
p. 30.
Motion Picture Herald
2 Apr 32
p. 34, 35, 38
New York Times
24 Mar 32
p. 17.
Variety
15 Dec 31
p. 6.
Variety
8 Mar 32
p. 4.
Variety
22 Mar 32
p. 12.
Variety
29 Mar 32
pp. 24-25.
Variety
5 Apr 32
p. 3, p. 20.
Variety
21 Jun 1932.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Ernst Lubitsch Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst by
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Interpolated mus
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting dir
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Nur ein Traum, Lustspiel im 3 Akten ( Only a Dream ) by Lothar Schmidt (Munich, 1909).
SONGS
"Police Number," "We Will Always Be Sweethearts" and "Oh! that Mitzi!" music by Oscar Straus, lyrics by Leo Robin
"One Hour with You," "Three Times a Day," "What Would You Do?" "What a Little Thing Like a Wedding Ring Can Do" and "It Was Only a Dream Kiss," music by Richard A. Whiting, lyrics by Leo Robin.
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 March 1932
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 24 February 1932
Production Date:
began 13 November 1931 at Paramount studios in Los Angeles
re-takes shot at Paramount-Publix New York Studios (Astoria, Long Island) on 11 February 1932
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Publix Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 March 1932
Copyright Number:
LP2940
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75 or 80
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In Paris in the spring, Dr. André Bertier and Colette, his wife of three years, live in a state of connubial bliss until Colette's flirtatious school chum, Mitzi Olivier, visits, and André is tempted to have an affair. Mitzi schemes to get André alone by feigning illness, and Colette urges him to visit Mitzi, believing André is reluctant because he doesn't like Colette's friend. At the Oliviers' apartment, Mitzi tries to seduce André, and Mitzi's husband, the professor, who has hired Detective Henri Pornier to find evidence of Mitzi's affairs, walks in on the doctor and his patient on the couch. When the Bertiers hold a dinner party, André switches place cards with Mlle. Marcel in order to avoid sitting next to Mitzi. Colette, believing André is having an affair with the mademoiselle, tells Mitzi, who spends the evening with André under the guise of saving Colette's marriage. When André meets Mitzi on the veranda, she unties his tie, and he is caught by Colette when the mademoiselle later reties it for him. After the party, Colette refuses to believe André's story about the mademoiselle, and he leaves to meet Mitzi in a waiting cab. Adolph, André's best friend, who has been pleading for Colette's affections all evening, then appears in her parlor and kisses her before she orders him out. The next morning, Mitzi leaves for her mother's place in Lausanne, and Colette tries to guess who Mitzi's lover is. Next, Olivier confronts André with a minute-by-minute account of André's rendezvous with his wife, including nearly two hours--from 2:53 a.m. to 4:44--during which Mitzi and André were alone. When André receives a summons to appear as a ... +


In Paris in the spring, Dr. André Bertier and Colette, his wife of three years, live in a state of connubial bliss until Colette's flirtatious school chum, Mitzi Olivier, visits, and André is tempted to have an affair. Mitzi schemes to get André alone by feigning illness, and Colette urges him to visit Mitzi, believing André is reluctant because he doesn't like Colette's friend. At the Oliviers' apartment, Mitzi tries to seduce André, and Mitzi's husband, the professor, who has hired Detective Henri Pornier to find evidence of Mitzi's affairs, walks in on the doctor and his patient on the couch. When the Bertiers hold a dinner party, André switches place cards with Mlle. Marcel in order to avoid sitting next to Mitzi. Colette, believing André is having an affair with the mademoiselle, tells Mitzi, who spends the evening with André under the guise of saving Colette's marriage. When André meets Mitzi on the veranda, she unties his tie, and he is caught by Colette when the mademoiselle later reties it for him. After the party, Colette refuses to believe André's story about the mademoiselle, and he leaves to meet Mitzi in a waiting cab. Adolph, André's best friend, who has been pleading for Colette's affections all evening, then appears in her parlor and kisses her before she orders him out. The next morning, Mitzi leaves for her mother's place in Lausanne, and Colette tries to guess who Mitzi's lover is. Next, Olivier confronts André with a minute-by-minute account of André's rendezvous with his wife, including nearly two hours--from 2:53 a.m. to 4:44--during which Mitzi and André were alone. When André receives a summons to appear as a witness at the Oliviers' divorce trial, he confesses his affair to Colette, and she tells him their marriage is over. Adolph then arrives, and although André believes his friend incapable of seducing Colette, she, with the help of André's amused promptings, forces a confession out of Adolph, making the husband and wife's infidelities equal. She then tells André, "An eye for an eye...an Adolph for a Mitzi." After they ask the rhetorical question, "What would you do?" the couple embraces. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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