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A Royal Affair

At the Majestic

By Edmond A. Levy

This reviewer must admit that he has no sentimental attachments to the Gallic charm of Maurice Chevalier, as it was known and loved years ago. Possibly this is a limitation. My first view of Chevalier has left me uncaptivated, although I was nowhere near demanding my money back. If the songs in his latest picture seemed a little flat and his smiles a little like saying "green cheese," other members of the cast and a barrage of double entendres provide a mildly entertaining evening.

Chevalier plays the King of Cerdania on a political mission to pre-World War I France. A tangle of intrigue starts when the bored wife of a French Senator tosses a cream puff squarely into the face of the visiting king. Her impulse brings on political complications and a love affair with the king.

Like many French pictures, "A Royal Affair" has an abundance of feasting and dancing, and a generally sunny atmosphere. Although some scenes are slow and rather pointless, others are rapid-fire and glittering. The songs are familiar and derivative with one exception, that sung by the king's new-found mistress and his secret-service agent.

If you prefer to regard Maurice Chevalier's performance as the feat of a near septagenarian, who can look and sound ten or fifteen years younger than he is, you will find this picture remarkable. Otherwise, wait around for another revival.

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