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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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