The Great Lover (1931)

71 or 79 mins | Drama | 18 July 1931

Director:

Harry Beaumont

Cinematographer:

Merritt Gerstad

Editor:

Helene Warne

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

An earlier film based on the play was made by Goldwyn Pictures Corp. in 1920, with John Sainpolis and Claire Adams starring and Frank Lloyd directing (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.1692). According to a 1952 LAEx news item, Twentieth Century-Fox producer George Jessel purchased the rights to this film from M-G-M for a proposed remake which was to star Ezio Pinza, Jan Peerce, Roberta Peters and Robert Merrill. There is no indication, however, that this film was ever ... More Less

An earlier film based on the play was made by Goldwyn Pictures Corp. in 1920, with John Sainpolis and Claire Adams starring and Frank Lloyd directing (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.1692). According to a 1952 LAEx news item, Twentieth Century-Fox producer George Jessel purchased the rights to this film from M-G-M for a proposed remake which was to star Ezio Pinza, Jan Peerce, Roberta Peters and Robert Merrill. There is no indication, however, that this film was ever made. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
30 Aug 31
p. 10.
HF
2 May 31
p. 24.
HF
6 Jun 31
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 31
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
4 Jul 31
p. 35.
New York Times
24 Aug 31
p. 13.
New York Times
30 Aug 31
p. 5.
Variety
25 Aug 31
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Dial and cont
Dial and cont
PHOTOGRAPHY
2d cam
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Great Lover by Leo Ditrichstein and Frederick and Fanny Hatton (New York, 10 Nov 1915).
SONGS
"La ci darem la man" from the opera Don Giovanni , music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
"Lohengrin" and "Love Song" from the opera Die Walküre , music and libretto by Richard Wagner
selections from the opera Il barbiere di Siviglia , music by Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, libretto by Cesare Sterbini
+
SONGS
"La ci darem la man" from the opera Don Giovanni , music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
"Lohengrin" and "Love Song" from the opera Die Walküre , music and libretto by Richard Wagner
selections from the opera Il barbiere di Siviglia , music by Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, libretto by Cesare Sterbini
"Ich liebe Dich" by Edvard Hagerup Grieg
"Waltz Song" from the opera Roméo et Juliette , music by Charles Gounod, libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
18 July 1931
Production Date:
early May--mid June 1931
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.
Copyright Date:
19 October 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2558
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
71 or 79
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Aboard an ocean liner, famous opera baritone Jean Paurel, a philanderer and a great lover of American women, occupies himself by pursuing his amorous interests, usually married or otherwise spoken for women. Before landing in America, Paurel meets the lovely Diana Page, who has been studying opera in Italy, and, after hearing her beautiful voice, he arranges an audition for her at the opera house the next day. The temperamental Savarova, who is Paurel's former lover, is still angry over the end of their affair, which occurred many years ago, and tells the baritone that she refuses to sing with him. Likewise, Paurel tells Stapleton, the director, that he refuses to perform with her. While waiting for her appointment with Paurel, Diana happens upon Carlo, Diana's sweetheart and Paurel's understudy, who, having failed many times in the past to get her to marry him, asks her once again. Diana resents his persistence, but when she is informed that her appointment with Paurel has been cancelled, the dejected singer accepts Carlo's lunch invitation. When Diana sees Paurel descending a staircase and singing a tune with Savarova, she joins in with the musical response. Paurel then takes her to lunch, leaving Savarova and Carlo spurned. Diana's audition is interrupted by Savarova's unwelcome intrusion and her flirtations with Paurel. After Diana admits that she felt cheapened by the incident, Paurel comforts her with a kiss. Later, Paurel tells Potter, his personal valet, that he is truly in love with Diana and that he plans to marry her. Aware of Paurel's reputation with women, Carlo asks Diana if she has made love ... +


Aboard an ocean liner, famous opera baritone Jean Paurel, a philanderer and a great lover of American women, occupies himself by pursuing his amorous interests, usually married or otherwise spoken for women. Before landing in America, Paurel meets the lovely Diana Page, who has been studying opera in Italy, and, after hearing her beautiful voice, he arranges an audition for her at the opera house the next day. The temperamental Savarova, who is Paurel's former lover, is still angry over the end of their affair, which occurred many years ago, and tells the baritone that she refuses to sing with him. Likewise, Paurel tells Stapleton, the director, that he refuses to perform with her. While waiting for her appointment with Paurel, Diana happens upon Carlo, Diana's sweetheart and Paurel's understudy, who, having failed many times in the past to get her to marry him, asks her once again. Diana resents his persistence, but when she is informed that her appointment with Paurel has been cancelled, the dejected singer accepts Carlo's lunch invitation. When Diana sees Paurel descending a staircase and singing a tune with Savarova, she joins in with the musical response. Paurel then takes her to lunch, leaving Savarova and Carlo spurned. Diana's audition is interrupted by Savarova's unwelcome intrusion and her flirtations with Paurel. After Diana admits that she felt cheapened by the incident, Paurel comforts her with a kiss. Later, Paurel tells Potter, his personal valet, that he is truly in love with Diana and that he plans to marry her. Aware of Paurel's reputation with women, Carlo asks Diana if she has made love to him, and then questions her self-respect. Diana tells Carlo that Paurel spurned her, and then accompanies him to dinner. No sooner are they seated at their table, than Paurel espies her and insists that she sing for his private party upstairs. After Diana gives a wonderful performance, Paurel insists that she replace Savarova at the opening of the Metropolitan season, and then publicly announces his plans to marry her. At the opening, Diana's performance is enthusiastically received by all, and Paurel, whose voice faltered during his performance, gives her his lucky charm. In Diana's dressing room, Carlo congratulates the new star on her success, and when he kisses her, Savarova witnesses it and immediately tells Paurel. Outraged at Savarova's spitefulness in telling him such a story, Paurel yells at her, permanently ruining his voice. When Paurel's doctor confirms the end of his singing career, he tells Diana that he will devote the rest of his life solely to making her happy. After learning that Paurel plans to take Diana to Italy to train her, Carlo tells Paurel that she loves him only out of gratitude for helping her, and that he, Carlo, is her true love. Paurel realizes that Carlo is right when he sees the emotion in her eyes as she tells Carlo about her engagement. As a result, Paurel gracefully announces that he has changed his mind about taking her to Italy. Almost immediately, Paurel returns to his philandering ways and takes up an affair with Mrs. Loring, a former acquaintance, and Carlo and Diana resume their romance. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.