Genevieve Tobin (pictured above right ) portrayed Mitzi in the 1932 Ernst Lubitsch comedy for Paramount, One Hour With You. In that pre code musical which starred Maurice Chevalier and Jeannette MacDonald, Tobin played “the other woman.”
Hello Everybody. MR. Joe Morella and MR. Frank Segers, still here holding down the fort while MRS. Norman Maine searches for the man who got away.
Today we remember a classy lady of the Thirties movies who also represents someone who entered the family business, and succeeded quite nicely. The family business, of course, was show business.
In One Hour With You Chevelier’s character is happily married but can’t resist the charms of Tobin, and sings about it saying, “I love Colette, but Oh, That Mitzi.” The film is a sort of operetta, and the characters speak directly to the audience referring to giving in to temptation and being unfaithful and ask, “What would you do?” Then slyly respond “I did the same thing too.” It’s pure Lubitsch.
In this film Tobin showed the versatility for which she was famous. She had been born to a theatrical family in 1899. Her older brother, George, and younger sister, Vivian, were also in the business and modestly successful.
Genevive had been on stage and in silents since she was a child. She’d had great success on Broadway both in drama (she’d portrayed Cordelia in Lear) and musical comedy. She introduced the hit song, “You Do Something to Me” in Cole Porter’s Fifty Million Frenchmen.
Back in Hollywood she continued showing her versatility playing in comedies, musicals and dramas. She played “Della Street” in a Perry Mason programer (below). Then portrayed a bored society wife in The Petrified Forest. In 1938 she married director William Keighley and semi retired. They stayed married for over 45 years until his death.
In her last film, No Time for Comedy, directed by her husband she once again played “the other woman.” After Keighley retired they moved to Paris. He lived to 94. She died 11 years later at 95.
Vivian Tobin also married and retired. She stayed married to the same man (a doctor) for over 40 years and died just a week shy of being 100.