We’re talking about Maurice Chevalier, the Paris-born veteran who staged not just one but two substantial star turns in Hollywood. (There he is above during round two as Audrey Hepburn’s understanding father in Billy Wilder’s 1957 romantic comedy, Love in the Afternoon.)
To make all this work, of course, you must scroll down to yesterday’s blog (Monday Quiz —– How Much Do You Know About Maurice Chevalier?) to see our list of 10 questions. Ok, on to our answers:
1) Answer: b) Jeanette MacDonald, a familiar Chevalier costar most notably in 1929’s The Love Parade, 1932’s One Hour With You and the same year’s Love Me Tonight, a delightful musical showcase of Chevalier’s impressive physical grace (the film holds up remarkably well; worth seeking out.) The “not colossal” comment was delivered by MacDonald to Chevalier’s character in 1934’s The Merry Widow.
2) Answer — Both c) and d). Chevalier was an accomplished acrobat, and also went a few rounds with boxing champ Georges Carpentier.
3) Answer — Chevalier was a popular cabaret singer-entertainer long before he became a movie star in France much less Hollywood. His partner at the infamous Folies Bergere was actress singer Minstinguett (nee Jeanne Bourgeois), who was 13 years his senior.
4) Answer — False. MacDonald rebuffed Chevalier’s overtures, calling him “the quickest derriere pincher in Hollywood.” He dismissed her as a prude.
5) Answer — The song is Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s Thank Heaven For Little Girls. In this post Humbert Humbert age, the song and Chevalier’s delivery make some uncomfortable. We say, relax and enjoy the performance in all its innocent intent.
6) Answer — a) True, according Alan Riding, author of the 2010 book, And The Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris. Chevalier got in hot water for entertaining German soldiers in his cabaret appearances and for performing a concert in Germany.
7) Answer — a) True, again according to author Riding. There’s no doubt that Chevalier took great pains to explain his wartime behavior to both French and American audiences.
8) Answer — c) Mamie Van Doren. Deborah Kerr costarred with Chevalier in 1959’s Count Your Blessings. Shirley Maclaine in 1960’s Can-Can. Hayley Mills in the 1962 Disney outing, In Search of the Castaways. And, Sophia Loren appeared with our man in 1960’s A Breath of Scandal.
9) Answer — a) 41 and 69. (Chevalier was born in 1888. He died in 1972 at the age of 83.) His first Hollywood film was in 1929, and he his re-emergence began in 1957.
10) Answer — b) No. Chevalier refrained from making any movies during the war. His first post-war movie appearance in France was in 1947 in Rene Clair’s Le Silence est d’Or (Silence is Golden).