The time-honored theme of the two people who bear an uncanny resemblance to each other and the comedy of errors resulting from the confusion is resurrected for Maurice Chevalier in "Folies Bergere." The amiable Frenchman plays the parts of Eugene Charlier of the "Folies" and baron Cassini, a dashing financier "as well known on the Boulevard as on the Bourse." Since the actor is so good at impersonating the Baron in his act, he eventually comes around to impersonating the distinguished banker when that gentleman is unavoidably absent at a reception he was supposed to be giving various dignitaries of the French government.
A crisis in the financial affairs of the banking house of Cassini, represented by the customary vague but impressive "twenty million francs that we must have by morning or we are lost," sets the stage for the bewildered but facetious role that Charlier is to play. But the more provoking situations arise, not from the financial but the romantic connections of the two men. For example, Charlier's wife (Ann Southern) has a flirtation with her husband, believing him to be Cassini, and Cassini's wife (Merle Oberen) flirts with both, knowing only about half the time which is which. The hectic complexities that result are by no means surprising, and through it all the whole thing reeks with both gleeful and vicious double entendre.
The Parisian institution that lends its name to the production receives only a minimum of attention, which is just as well, since the poor "Folies" as interpreted by cosmopolitan Hollywood seem to have taken on the Busy Berkeley tradition, all of which we greet with cautious skepticism and even displeasure. Although a prepossessing list of now songs are advertised, none of them seem very promising. It is the mistaken identity with which the film stands or falls, and as far as we are concerned we like this sort of thing.
Another absorbing edition of "The March of Time" is not the least of the show.