Maurice Chevalier, Early Movie Hits

Lenny Kaye

By Lenny Kaye

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Early Movie Hits

Maurice Chevalier

The French lingual is particularly suited to the croon, with its rounded overtones and chic Montmartre air; Chevalier made the winked eye international. He began his film career in 1908, and his hat-and-stick song-and-dance mated well with the advent of the talkies. "Louise," his best-known theme (at least until another "little" girl, Gigi, came along with "Thank Heaven for. . ."), is from his first US film, the 1929 Innocents of Paris; the follow-up, The Playboy of Paris (1930), left little doubt to the manner of his appeal. His approach might best be inscribed in another of his best-loved melodies, "Mon Cocktail D'Amour."