This article by Rebekah Brannan is for PEPS’s “Singing Sweethearts Blogathon.” I hope you enjoy it!
Today is Mardi Gras, and, in honor of this holiday, I have written an article about New Moon from 1940 for my “Singing Sweethearts Blogathon.” New Moon, the Singing Sweethearts’ sixth pairing, is arguably the best film they ever made together. Although it’s hard to pick a favorite out of such wonderful films as dramatic but enchanting Naughty Marietta, beautiful but tragic Maytime, and dynamic but easy to watch The Girl of the Golden West, New Moon seems to have a little bit of everything. It has some of the greatest songs they ever sang, each expressing a different emotion or creating a perfect situation for them, plus wonderful direction, a multi-faceted plot, brilliant acting, and even a scene which could have been questionable but is handled beautifully and delicately because of Mr. Breen’s watchful eye on it! The musical numbers alone could win this film the accolade of being their best, with light and fun Paris, charming Shoes to Shine/Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise, delightful One Kiss, beautifully romantic Wanting You, wonderfully dramatic Lover, Come Back to Me, which is later reprised as a sweeping duet, manly and thrilling Stouthearted Men, and delightfully funny Marianne, which is also reprised, with different words, as an amusingly indifferent wedding duet. The magic of New Moon, however, lies not only in its songs but in its witty dialogue, its clever delivery, the subtle brilliance of its direction, its lighting, its filming, and, overall, the underlying influence of Mr. Breen and the Code! I must warn you, dear reader, that you may not want to read this article if you have yet to see New Moon and want to have any surprises when you watch it, since I am going to discuss it in great detail, right down to the lines, directions, and costumes! Now, the lights have dimmed, a hush has fallen over the theater, and the screen has come to life. Get ready for a treat, because here comes New Moon!
The story starts in 1789 on the Joie des Anges, a ship going from Marseilles to New Orleans. A group of ladies and gentleman in Georgian court clothes are dancing in a small ballroom on the ship. Among them is Marianne de Beaumanoir (Jeanette MacDonald). Her aunt, the Countess Valerie de Rossac (Mary Boland), is sitting by the wall with some other ladies, bragging to them about her niece. When the dance is finished, Marianne hears noise from below her that sounds like men shouting. She asks the captain what the noise is, and he replies that it is cattle in the hold, an explanation which hardly fools Marianne or the audience. The captain quickly changes the subject by suggesting that she sing for them. She agrees and begins to sing Paris, a charming song about a girl who goes to Paris and meets a young man. She makes it through the first part, but when she begins to sing the middle section, the “cattle” begin to sing along with her. She comments to the captain, “Well, captain, I seem to have taught your cows a pretty song.” We learn that the “cows” are really men, as we suspected all along. The scene changes to the hold, where we see a group of men locked up in a large cell. Among them, leading the singing of Paris with new, revolutionary lyrics about the king of France, is Charles Michon (Nelson Eddy). When some officers come down to “establish discipline,” the men walk up to the bars, still singing, and the officers spray them with a large hose. Charles calls out, “Greetings, sir, and thanks for the shower!” We learn that these men are convicts from France who are being brought to New Orleans to be sold among the planters as bond servants. Charles convinces the officer to let him complain to the captain the next morning about their treatment. The men congratulate Charles as he goes to sit down on his bunk. However, three of his fellow bond servants, Alexander (Dick Purcell), Pierre (William Tannen), and Tombaur (Stanley Fields), come over to talk to him. Tombaur says that the three of them don’t think Charles should go see the captain the next day, since they know that he is really Duc Charles Henri de Vidier, a revolutionary nobleman who escaped the king’s police by being arrested under a false name for “singing seditious ditties in the streets.” However, he reassures them and tells them that they are all going to escape on another ship, the New Moon, which will arrive to rescue them a month after they arrive in New Orleans. He cautions them not to tell the other men about the ship and tells Tombaur to cheer their comrades, which he does. The next morning, we see Marianne going to the captain’s cabin. The guard outside tells her that the captain is not in, but she says she’ll wait. Inside, she finds Charles. Having no coat of his own, he puts on the captain’s so he won’t shock her with the sight of shirtsleeves. This leads her to assume that he is one of the ship’s officers, and he does not tell her otherwise. She says that she came to see the captain on behalf of her aunt, who had trouble sleeping the previous night because of the “hold full of convicts, yelling and yowling.” He touches her heart by telling her that the bond servants are going to be sold at auction among the planters; he hopes her aunt will consider their coming life of “toil and starvation under the whip a satisfactory atonement for her sleepless nights.” She thinks this is terrible and says that she’ll explain to her aunt. He further tells her that the men were not having fun, as she thought, but clambering for food and fresh air. This effects her greatly, and she decides not to tell the captain her complaint after all. He kisses her hand and thanks her for her consideration of the bond servants as she rises to leave. She then asks him what his name is, and he tells her that it is Charles Henri. She says that she would like him to meet her aunt, since she adores officers, especially if they dance. He replies that he won’t have time for dancing in the near future because of his duties, “night and day,” but greatly regrets having to decline. She asks him if he ever sleeps, and he replies, “Rarely, but obviously all dreams do not come in sleep.” She says that she wouldn’t be surprised if they met again in New Orleans, to which he replies that she might be very surprised. She then says it’s been charming meeting him and leaves, seeming rather enamored. In the next scene, the boat is arriving in New Orleans, but Marianne is only interested in looking for Charles, whom she cannot find among the officers as she expected. She even looks up at the rigging through a telescope to see if she can find him there and, when questioned, says that she is looking at the maneuvering. The governor of Louisiana (Grant Mitchell) comes onto the boat before it gets into port to welcome them. With him is Brugnon (John Miljan), the manager of Marianne’s family’s estate. We learn that she was born in New Orleans but left when she was still a child. The governor says that Mardi Gras is nearing, and Marianne asks her aunt if they can have a party for it and invite the ship’s officers. Her aunt teasingly replies, “Still maneuvering, my dear?” as it fades to black.
Next, we see a far away shot of Marianne’s plantation as some people ride up to it on horseback; the scene fades to her boudoir in the mansion. She is taking a bath and singing to herself. Her maid, Julie (Bunty Cutler), holds up a towel, efficiently covers her with it as she gets out of the bath, and hurries her behind a changing screen. As Julie unpacks, Marianne gaily asks her frivolous questions about love, obviously still thinking about Charles. Soon, there’s a knock at the door, and Charles comes in, carrying a vase of roses, which he says is from the officers of the Joie des Anges. Julie tells him to wheel out the tub before bringing up Marianne’s breakfast tray. As he does this, Marianne, having heard voices, peeks over her screen and looks at him in shock. He sees her watching him, but he merely looks the other way and pushes the bathtub out. She looks at the flowers and tells Julie to send Brugnon to her, saying that they have a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” in the house. Julie doesn’t know what she means, and she nervously says she’ll get Brugnon. As she leaves, she bumps into Charles, who is bringing in the breakfast tray. She says that he’d better be quiet since she doesn’t think Marianne is “quite herself this morning.” Charles sets the tray down while Marianne, who is now wearing a dressing gown, looks at him mischievously, and there follows a charmingly funny scenario in which he serves her hot chocolate while she asks him teasing questions about “his ship.” She finally stops joking and says that, although his idea of visiting her under a disguise is romantic, it doesn’t lessen her embarrassment at having him in her boudoir. Brugnon comes in, and she accuses him of taking part in Charles’s joke for money. He then tells her that he bought Charles at the bond servants’ auction the previous night, and that he, who was previously a valet of the Duke de Vidier, is hers for life. She still doesn’t believe him, but when Charles confirms his story she realizes that it is true, much to her disappointment. After Brugnon has left, Charles tells her why he was in the captain’s cabin and explains that he put on “any coat at hand” so he wouldn’t shock her by his lack of one. She begins quizzing him on such court matters as what wine is served with fish and how he would introduce the Duc de Vidier, and he answers correctly, apparently to her disappointment. She then asks him why he was deported, and he tells her that he got drunk and was caught singing revolutionary songs on the streets of Paris. He begs her to forgive him for the way he acted on the ship, and she forgives him coolly before telling him to return to his duties. He obeys, and she murmurs his name in a melancholy tone as the camera fades out. We then see Charles in the courtyard, polishing Marianne’s shoes and tossing them up to a little black boy in a nearby tree, who is hanging them upon the branches to dry. Charles is whistling and singing Shoes to Shine, but he soon goes into Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise. We see Marianne, now in an elaborate dress, step out onto her balcony to watch him sing and polish before a crowd of adoring slaves and servants, who are sitting around listening to him. After a while, Marianne goes back into her room and asks Julie who is singing, even though she knows very well that it’s Charles; she tells her to send him to her in the library. Julie agrees. Next, we see Charles going into the library, where Marianne is sitting at a desk, writing. She asks him if he has to sing while he’s working, and he replies that he doesn’t; he was merely “over-enjoying” his work of polishing her shoes. She asks if the Duc de Vidier let him sing when he was polishing his shoes, and he replies that the Duc was very fond of his voice. She dryly replies, “Oh, I hold nothing against your voice. Except that I don’t want to hear it.” He is rather insulted and, a little sarcastically, replies, “Well, I’m sorry. I regret having irritated you.” She replies, “Well, it isn’t just your singing; it’s your whole attitude that’s irritating. The…the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you… the way you listen! You’re positively assuming the manners of a nobleman.” He rather mischievously replies that most noblemen have learned their manners from servants, which leads her to mildly reprimand him for this revolutionary comment and remind him that she is in charge. She then says that if he’ll get into the right spirit, she will gladly reciprocate; he may find better friends there than he expects too. He adoringly says that he is “deeply moved,” and she nervously says that he needn’t look at her like that either. She continues that she is giving a party for the Mardi Gras and that she wishes him to obey her majordomo, Gizou, in all details. He agrees, and she reminds him once again that “servants should be seen, not heard,” to which he comically replies by whispering, “Yes, Mademoiselle,” and tiptoeing to the door. Her aunt then rushes in, anxious to tell her something, and Marianne sends Charles on his way. Her aunt excitedly tells her that Charles was in the service of the Duc de Vidier, not knowing that Marianne had heard this. When Marianne calmly replies that she knows that, the excitable Valerie says that he must know all the gossip about the duke. Marianne asks her to leave Charles alone and not irritate him with questions about the duke, and her aunt grudgingly agrees before Marianne goes outside through the glass doors behind her desk, asking that she hear about something other than Charles. Her aunt says, “Alright, my dear. Alright,” as she hurries out through the library’s main door.
Next, it’s the night of Marianne’s party. We see carriages pulling up in front of her mansion. Charles is standing next to the majordomo, Gizou (Ivan F. Simpson), who is introducing the guests. We then see Marianne hurrying down the stairs in a gorgeous white gown. She walks up to the governor and curtsies to him while apologizing for being late. He compliments her party, and then several servants walk by, carrying various grand dishes. Marianne excuses herself and goes over to Gizou, whom she compliments on his beautiful preparations. He says that he did what Charles told him to do, and she immediately changes her tune, saying that she didn’t say she wanted to be conspicuous. Some men come over and begin complimenting her on her preparation of everything, and she is swept away from Gizou. She then hears her aunt telling some women about the Duc de Vidier. Marianne scolds her, but Valerie insists it’s just like bringing Paris to her guests and continues her story. She tells of how the duke escaped from the Marquis’s house, pursued by men and dogs, and took refuge in the boudoir of the Princess de Caravais, remaining there for who knows how long. She concludes by saying that, at the time, he had nine other love affairs on his hands. Marianne is outraged by this story of the duke’s behavior and, when asked if she’s ever met him, responds that she hasn’t and never wants to if her aunt’s story is at all true. Soon, Charles informs Marianne that her guests want her to sing. When she asks who told them that she sings, he replies that Gizou made it the feature of her party. She knows very well that Charles arranged it, but she sarcastically asks if Gizou decided what she should sing, to which Charles replies, “Gizou is for One Kiss, Mademoiselle.” Fanning furiously in her annoyance, she says, “Oh, he is, is he?” She then puts on a smile, ascends the platform where the orchestra is set up, and proceeds to sing One Kiss. Throughout the song, she keeps glaring at Charles then looking back at the audience with her put-on smile. The governor’s wife notices this and observes Charles gazing at Marianne and sighing adoringly. She whispers to a woman standing behind her, who in turn whispers to a woman next to her. When Marianne finishes, Charles applauds along with the guests but continues to clap loudly after everyone else has stopped. This heightens the gossip even more, as several of the ladies look over at Charles. The governor’s wife compliments Marianne’s singing, and the woman behind her comments, “You even turn lackeys into statues,” as the camera cuts over to Charles sneaking away. A bit later, Charles is setting champagne glasses on a tray and quietly singing One Kiss. Marianne comes up to him and says, “Must you sing. I suppose you’ll be dancing next!” Charles earnestly replies, “Alas, Mademoiselle always suggests dancing when my duties interfere.” She replies that his duties were to “obey Gizou, not to inspire him.” She then says that she’ll be the laughing-stock of Louisiana the next day because of the lavishness of her party. He replies that this is not true, since the party was identical to one given by a woman many years before which gave her a good reputation for style and luxury in New Orleans. Marianne asks if she has to imitate “some foolish woman” to get a good reputation, but Charles replies earnestly that the lady in question was her mother and that the party was given for Marianne’s first birthday. When Marianne asks how he knows this, he replies that he was dusting books in the library and came upon her uncle’s diary, which explained the party in detail and said that her mother also sang One Kiss. To the background music’s moving accompaniment of the song’s climax, Charles says that “the memory of this party was one of her last joys in this world.” Marianne is touched and asks Charles to forgive her and forget what she said. At that moment, the Marquise della Rosa (Florence Shirley) comes up to Marianne and says that, although she hates to leave so soon, she must be going back to Baton Rouge, because it’s a twelve-hour journey and “the roads are like riverbeds.” She asks Charles to get her carriage, and, when he knows which carriage it is, she marvels at what a remarkable servant he is. She rather mischievously says that he seems very “devoted” to Marianne and asks if she brought him specially from Paris. When Marianne tells her that he’s a bond-servant, she begs Marianne to sell him to her. Marianne says that none of her servants are for sale, but her guest is persistent and hints that people may talk about the two of them. She then says that if Marianne listens to some of the gossip in the ballroom, she’ll send Charles to her “on her fastest horse.” At that moment, Charles comes up and says that her carriage is outside. She thanks him and says, “Don’t forget, my dear, your fastest horse,” before following Charles out. She bids Charles goodbye, calling him “my man,” and drives off. As Charles stands at the top of the steps, he hears someone whistle the first few bars of the French anthem and hurries off the balcony. We see him walk along the side of the house, now without his peruke, and come up to Alexander, who is hiding in the shadows with a horse. He informs Charles that the New Moon has arrived, and Charles tells him to gather all the men at the stockades but not to let any of them leave until just before dawn. Alexander is surprised when he says he’s not coming with him and asks him if anything’s wrong. Charles replies that nothing is wrong and that he’ll see that they all escape just before dawn. We then see the front of the house again. It is now quite late, and all the guests are going home. Marianne is saying goodbye to her last guests while leaning against a pillar, looking rather dreamy. Voices are heard singing in the distance, and Valerie asks a servant next to her if she’s hearing things. He replies that the sound is the slaves, who are also celebrating the holiday. As Marianne stands by the pillar, listening to the slaves singing spirituals, Gizou creeps up and apologizes for displeasing her. She tells him that he needn’t apologize, since the party was wonderful. He is pleasantly surprised and relieved at her happiness, and she tells him to have Julie bring her a scarf, since she is going for a walk in the garden. We then see Charles coming back through the trees. He sees Marianne, now without her large, feathered headdress, go out the garden gate. As she walks away, her scarf gets caught on the gate; she unwittingly leaves it there. We then see her walking up to a tree on the edge of the bayou. She stands by the tree, watching the slaves sing and chant while dancing around a large magnolia tree across the bayou. Charles comes up behind her, holding the scarf, and begins watching the slaves over her shoulder. After a moment, she seems to sense his presence, and she turns to see him behind her. He tells her that she dropped her scarf and places it over her shoulders. As he does this, he thoughtlessly puts his hands on her arms, and, referring to the slaves’ ceremony, says, “It’s a strange custom, Mademoiselle.” She replies, “You’re a strange servant, Charles.” He drops his hands and steps back, asking her why she says this. She replies that she’s not quite sure, but that it’s mainly the way he acted during the party and how he looked at her when she was singing. He dramatically replies that he couldn’t help looking at her. She sits down by the base of the tree and says that he’s been in the service of the Duc de Vidier too long, since he’s even acquired his manners, which, from what she hears, “aren’t very commendable.” When he asks her what she means, she asks him if he did not tell her aunt about his scandalous “escapades and intrigues with one woman after another!” From his reply, he seems to think that these things were unimportant, but when she presses the matter, he asks her, “But if he should one day fall in love in earnest, wouldn’t that redeem him?” She replies that a man like him never falls in love, “in earnest.” He replies, “He thought that too, once, but….” “Are you trying to defend him, Charles?” she asks him disbelievingly. “No one else can, Mademoiselle,” he replies. He sits down beside her, and she earnestly asks him if he’d return to the Duc if he were free; he replies that, if given a choice, he would never leave her. This statement makes her rather uncomfortable, so she changes the subject by saying that the slaves are now going to the “Trouble Tree.” He turns to look, questioningly saying “the Trouble Tree?” She replies that there’s an old jungle superstition which says that the magnolia tree, which is enchanted, will take away a person’s troubles and grant his longings. She says that once, when she was young, her nurse took her to the tree to take away her loneliness, and, when he asks if it worked, she replies that it did, since that’s the magic of the tree. As they watch, she tells him each thing the slaves will do, showing that she’s seen the ceremony before. The slaves then begin singing the melody of Lover, Come Back to Me. Marianne tells Charles that her nurse used to hum that melody; she’s often tried to think of her own words for it. She sings a few bars from the song, with slightly altered lyrics. Then Charles says that they have a legend in France, as well, “about a shepherd who loved a lady of high rank.” He says that he sang of his longing, and, when Marianne asks if she heard him, he says that she answered his song. She says that she remembers that legend and the song, and he says, “Remember the words:” and begins singing the intro to Wanting You. What follows is one of the most beautiful and romantic duets in musical history. Charles and Marianne take turns singing sections of the song. When they have sung through the song once, Charles, unable to control himself while looking at her, stands up and turns away. Before he can flee, Marianne begins to sing the refrain, and, after a moment, Charles turns toward her, his expression almost pained as he looks at her longingly. As she reaches the end of the first section, she holds out her hand, and, taking it, he pulls her to her feet as they begin to sing the middle section together. As they near the end, they get closer and closer together, and, after singing the thrilling, brilliant ending, they kiss each other rapturously. Finally, she pulls away, looks at him with a slightly pained expression for a moment, and then hurries back toward the house, leaving him to look after her. When Marianne gets back to the house, Gizou tells her that the governor is waiting in the library with another gentleman. When she goes into the library, the governor introduces his companion as the Vicomte Ribaud (George Zucco), an inspector from Paris who has just arrived on official business. Ribaud informs her that among the recently imported bond-servants was the Duc Charles Henri de Vidier, who escaped France and, with the aid of the Princess de Caravais, (who, he adds, was recently exiled), managed to get himself deported as a bondsman on the Jois des Anges. Marianne is shocked by this, exclaiming that that’s the ship on which she sailed; she obviously has just realized that Charles is the Duc de Vidier. Ribaud requests permission to search her plantation along with the others. She grants him permission, and the governor says that there is no chance of the duke escaping again, since the town will be surrounded by dawn. The governor comments that the duke will be very surprised when he learns that his scheme had been revealed. When Marianne asks what he means, Ribaud tells her that the very ship on which he sailed was going to be used by the duke and the other bondsmen to escape. He and the governor finally leave, due to Marianne’s distress, which they mistake for tiredness. After they leave, Marianne looks angry and goes to the door, as if to call them back, but then she pauses, looking disturbed. She then walks back toward her desk, crying slightly and drying her eyes, before pulling on the cord which is used to summon a servant. She then walks back to her desk, trying to collect herself. Charles comes in and walks up to her, calling her by her first name and saying that he hoped she’d send for him. She stops him from coming too close to her and coldly asks him where his wig is, just noticing for the first time that he is without it and saying that lackeys are supposed to wear wigs on duty. He replies that “they might be in a mood to forget such things,” but she snaps, “I’m not interested in your mood.” He wonderingly asks her what’s happened, to which she replies that she had visitors and asks him if he saw them. He replies that he didn’t, since he lingered by the swamp, having new troubles for the “Trouble Tree.” She then asks him what his full name is, and, when he tells her it is Charles Michon, she orders him to pack, saying that she’s selling him to the Marquise della Rosa. She angrily scribbles down a note, tells him to take it to his new owner, and says that he will leave right away on her fastest horse. He demands to know why she’s sending him away, but she says he’s in no position to demand and tells him she is being too merciful in sending him away. He is angered by this, saying, “Don’t strain your mercy to the breaking point. Such an endearing farewell makes me glad to go, and I promise you to ride fast.” Almost crying, she breathlessly says, “Will you go away!” He coldly says, “Goodbye, Marianne,” and walks out. She looks after him for a moment and then drops her head down onto her arm, sobbing. We see Charles, now in plainer clothes, tell three men that a ship has come for their rescue; they mount horses and ride off together. Marianne is shown walking out onto her balcony just in time to see Charles riding away with the men. She begins speaking the intro to Lover, Come Back to Me and then smoothly transfers to singing at the words, “my long day starts.” She begins singing the beautiful song sadly and longingly, at one point plucking a rose off the vine which is wound around one of the balcony’s pillars and crushing it in her despair. As she sings the last note, she opens her hand, thus allowing the petals to fall from it. She turns away from the camera and leans her forehead on the pillar, crying. We then see Charles riding along with the other three men. They see another horseman coming and hide in the bushes, but Charles quickly sees that he is Alexander and calls out to him. Alexander tells him that Inspector Ribaud and Marines came on the ship, the latter of which are now patrolling the town. He continues that he saw Ribaud driving away from Marianne’s house. Charles then realizes why she was sending him to Baton Rouge, “mercifully and insultingly.” Alexander tells Charles to escape through the bayou and not bother about them, but Charles says that they’ll escape together or not at all. They then get on their horses and ride through the woods to the stockades. He and Alexander knock out the two guards outside, grab the keys, and begin releasing men from cells, saying, “Meet me at the whipping post.” We then see hoards of men flooding into the courtyard which holds whipping posts. They all cluster around one particular platform, and Charles jumps up onto it to deliver a speech to the men. He tells his fellow bond servants that their ship has been taken over by the police and that Marines will take over the stockades in a few hours. He says that they have to fight for their freedom that night, before this happens, but all the men turn cowardly and refuse to go with him. He delivers an inspiring speech, encouraging them to fight, but they still are unwilling. However, when he says that he’ll go alone if necessary, Alexander joins him, as do Tombaur, Pierre, and six other men. Charles says, “Now we’re ten; that makes an army!” He then quickly gives orders to his nine comrades and says, “Whose going to stop us now?!” As he and his small army begin to march through the courtyard, he speaks the first words of Stouthearted Men: “Give me some men who are stouthearted men, who will fight for the right they adore!” He then starts singing the song. As he and his comrades march into the forest, the other men start saying “I’m going!” one by one and rushing after him. Soon, all the men are marching along behind Charles, singing the thrilling song. As the rest of the men repeat the song, Charles sings an amazing thirty-two second note, and then adds a quick “Give me men” before taking a breath! At the end of the song, one of the men throws his torch into the nearby water. The camera cuts to them marching up to the edge of some shallow water, at which point Charles sings, “Ready to fight and willing to die!” while shaking the hands of two men, one of whom is Buster Keaton in a small, uncredited role. The men then sing “Fight, fight, fight, fight!” and march right through the water while singing a final, rousing refrain of the song. It then cuts to the men sneaking up to the New Moon in a small boat. Charles peaks over the edge and sees a small group of Marines playing a game by lamplight. He pulls out his gun and climbs aboard, motioning for the other men to follow. There follows a thrilling but Codishly short fight. Soon, the men have overpowered the few Marines left on the boat, and Charles calls out commands for preparing to cast off. The sails fill with wind, and, as the ship begins to move, Charles turns to look at the camera with a hopeful, expectant, and inspiring look in his eyes, saying, “Stand by the wind!”
Two weeks later, Marianne, her aunt Valerie, the governor, and Vicomte Ribaud are in the library of Marianne’s house, discussing the escaped bondsmen. Valerie is telling Ribaud that she hopes he never catches Charles, since “no handsome man should ever have his head chopped off!” Ribaud replies that “many a head has been lost on account of a handsome man,” with a meaningful glance at Marianne. Valerie continues that if she’d known who Charles was, she would have helped him escape. With another look at Marianne, Ribaud tells her to content herself with the thought that Charles escaped without her help. He comments to himself that he’s gotten a two week head start on him. The governor tells him that the Fleur de lis leaves that night, so he won’t waste any more time. Marianne asks the governor what he means, and he tells her that the Fleur de lis is a ship which is sailing to Martinique that night. It is the first ship to arrive there since Charles escaped. He says that, in Martinique, Ribaud will take control of a battleship and begin pursuing Charles. Ribaud cuts him off, saying that he will not only use one battleship, but, if necessary, the whole fleet. Marianne asks the governor if the ship goes on to Paris after Martinique, and when he replies that it does, Marianne tells her aunt to have their things packed, because they are leaving that night on the Fleur de lis as well. She asks the governor to arrange it for them, but he replies that this is impossible, since the ship, which is carrying a consignment of brides, is not equipped for her and her aunt. Marianne insists that she wants to leave that night, since New Orleans has brought her nothing but unhappiness. Valerie breaks in, dramatically saying, “Brides! I’d take that ship if it had a consignment of baboons! I’d walk back if necessary! Ah, Paris!…” Marianne cuts her off with a stern, “Auntie,” and Valerie replies, “Yes, dear,” before the fade out. Next, the Fleur de lis is shown out on the ocean. The brides are kneeling on the deck, singing Panis Angelicus, and Marianne is on the bridge above, singing along with them. This solemn religious moment is reminiscent of a similar scene in Naughty Marietta. We see Father Michelle (H. B. Warner) standing by, watching the brides. Ribaud compliments him on the religious fervor and courage he has instilled in the girls. Father Michelle replies that they will be rewarded by Providence, and the captain adds that there is no better reward for enterprising young women than to marry brave colonists of the West Indies. Just as the brides finish their song, a man calls out that there’s a ship off the port quarter. The captain looks at it through his spyglass and orders all women below. As the women hurry to the hold, Marianne asks Ribaud what is causing the disturbance, and he replies that it is pirates. Shocked and frightened, Marianne hurries into the hold with the other women. The two ships are shown sailing closer and closer together while shooting at each other with cannons. The captain says that they have made a hole in the other ship, and it is taking on water. Someone calls for the crew to prepare for boarders. The sailors rush onto the deck and grab swords from a rack as the cannons continue to fire. Even as the men prepare themselves, the pirates throw grappling hooks onto the ship and begin climbing aboard. As the pirates board, Charles appears, revealing that the attackers are not really pirates but the bond servants from New Orleans! After another exciting but Codishly brief battle, the Fleur de lis’s crew is surrounded by Charles and his men. Alexander is heard saying, “You fought in the name of Louis; now surrender in the name of liberty!” The men throw their weapons down on the deck in surrender, and then the women are shown in the hold, looking up at the ceiling apprehensively. Marianne frightenedly says, “They’ve stopped fighting,” and a few of the girls scream as Tombaur appears on the stairs. He looks around, harrumphs, and, rather disgustedly says, “Women!” He walks up to the frightened women and is about to say something when Valerie steps up to him and says, “Look here, my man. If you dare put a finger on one of those girls, I’ll slap your ears!” Tombaur replies, “Stop your cackling, before I spank you! Nobody’s going to hurt your babies, old girl!” The outraged Valerie turns away with a sound of disgust while the men laugh. Tombaur starts toward the stairs, telling them to follow him. This scene also is reminiscent of a scene in Naughty Marietta. It is something in the way of a parody, since it is comedic rather then dramatic and tragic. Back on the deck, Ribaud is shown throwing down his gun before facing Charles, who is watching him confidently. The official sarcastically says, “So the former captain in the King’s Navy has added piracy to his criminal career.” To which Charles replies, “And once again prevented the king’s alert commissioner from finishing that career.” Ribaud replies that he has not prevented his arrest and execution; he has merely delayed it. He says that he is placing him under arrest. The men laugh, and Charles, shaking his head slightly, says, “Technical to the last, eh, Monsieur?” He then tells his men to confine Ribaud to his quarters, “with due regard and suspicion.” Ribaud is led away just as Tombaur appears on deck, followed by the women. Charles disbelievingly says, “Women, Tombaur?” His irritated comrade replies, “Yes! Brides for Martinique, and millions of ’em!” Charles laughs at his comrade’s exaggeration and tells him to keep an eye on the women, since he is holding him responsible for their “comfort and safety.” He then turns back to Alexander and asks him where the captain is. His comrade replies that he is in his cabin. Charles says that they’ll go see him, and they walk away. Tombaur, frustrated with his job as chaperon, outragedly says, “A fine job for a gunner,” before grumpily walking back toward his charges. Next, Charles is seen in the captain’s cabin, talking to the captain, who has just had a bandage wrapped around his head. Charles tells him that he and his men merely wanted the Fleur de lis to share some of its provisions with them. Now, since his gunners sank their ship, he must take over his. The captain tells him that he is carrying the consignment of brides and some passengers, and Charles says that these people are in no danger. He will put them ashore somewhere if the captain does not try to take over the ship until then. The captain replies that he has no choice but to agree, and Charles tells Alexander to find the captain a suitable cabin. He then sits down at the desk and begins writing. He calls Pierre over and tells him to steer the ship south-east by east. Pierre is surprised, saying that that would bring them right into rough weather, but Charles is adamant and tells him to stay off the lanes of all other ships. Pierre agrees and hurries out, passing Tombaur, who asks him if Charles is in the cabin. Pierre says that he is, so Tombaur enters and tells Charles that one of the female passengers wants to see him. Charles absently says he’ll see her later, but a commanding voice says, “At once.” Charles looks up to see Marianne standing in the doorway. He looks surprised but then stands up, tosses the quill onto the desk, and sarcastically welcomes her to “his ship.” Marianne angrily says, “Your ship?! Well, impersonating captains seems quite your hobby, doesn’t it?” He rather curtly asks her to state her request. She insists that he take her back to New Orleans, but he says that he doesn’t think his men will like the idea. She tosses some of her jewelry onto the desk, saying that perhaps it will “buy” the men. Charles sarcastically comments, “Purchasing men seems quite your hobby, doesn’t it, Mademoiselle?” He comments to Tombaur that they should be nice to Marianne since she saved his life, and Marianne says that she hates to remember that she did so. He says that it is an unpleasant memory for him as well but that her heart was in the right place, although her manners leave much to be desired. He says that he will give her the same consideration as the “courageous and amiable girls” they have aboard, despite her being a “spoiled and foolish little aristocrat.” He tells her to join the other girls and “try and profit by their company.” He smacks her jewelry into her hands “with the compliments” of him and his men. He tells Tombaur to take her to the hold, but she angrily says, “Spare your minions; I know my way,” before sweeping out. Charles puts his hand to his forehead, seeming overwhelmed by the fact that he can’t get away from Marianne. It then fades to the ship on stormy seas. The men are on deck, trying to steer the ship despite the choppy waves, howling wind, and stormy skies. Charles tells some of the men to go into the hold and help the women. The men begin tying the furniture to the walls and posts, since it is sliding back and forth. Marianne is trying to comfort one of the brides, who is crying hysterically. Julie falls down and hurts her arm, and Alexander comes to help her. Just a few minutes later, Julie is nearly crushed by a large trunk, but a few of the men grab it just in time. Valerie asks Tombaur if he started the storm, and he replies that it’s “nothing but a playful breeze,” almost falling down even as he says it. Meanwhile, on deck, Charles and the men are trying desperately to weather the storm. Just when it seems that the ship is lost to the wind, one of the men shouts that they are heading right toward a reef. Charles tries to steer the ship out of the way, but it’s too late to change the ship’s course; it crashes onto the rocks. The women in the hold start toward the staircase, and Charles orders that the lifeboats be deployed. There is a moment of confusion, as we see several shots of lifeboats filled with passengers floating on the ocean through clouds of spraying water. It then fades to a shot of a calm and peaceful ocean beneath the rays of the rising sun, accompanied by an instrumental arrangement of Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise. We then see a shot of the men carrying luggage and provisions up a slope on an island, with the broken ship visible on the distant rocks. Charles is then shown, standing in the midst of passengers and provisions on the island, looking into a device which tells him the longitude and latitude of their location, while Pierre scans the nearby sea through a spyglass. Pierre asks Charles what their location is, and Charles tells him, saying that the island is uncharted. Alexander comes up, an Charles asks him if he’s found everyone. Alexander replies that they’ve found everybody except the captain and a few of his men, and Charles says that he saw them cast off with the last boatload of provisions the night before. Ribaud says they probably sank beyond the reef, commenting that Charles ordered him to go in that boat but that “fortunately” he wanted to come ashore with him, clearly intimating that Charles planned for that boat to sink. Before Charles can reply to the sarcastic inspector’s remark, Tombaur comes up with some other men, saying that the island has fruit, water, and lots of timber. Charles gets up on a rock and calls out, “Friends,” before saying that they all heard the report on the island’s condition. He says that the island can be whatever they want it to be, but they all have to join in and work together. He takes off his coat as he says this to make his point, but, before he can continue, Marianne stands up and says that he makes it sound like they’re going to be there forever. She demands that they light signal fires to get the attention of any passing ships. Tombaur cuts her off, asking if she wants the king’s whole fleet to come after them, since they hang pirates, but Charles interrupts him by saying that, hanging or no hanging, they are too far off any ships’ lanes for signal fires to do any good and that they have better uses for their timber than burning it up. He then tells Alexander to have the men start cutting down the trees to make houses and have the women go through the food supplies, since their duty will be to cook for the men. Alexander agrees and hurries away. Before Charles can continue, Father Michelle comes up and asks him what is going to happen to his charges. Charles replies that they will remain under his guardianship; the men will build the first shelter for them. He then says that there will be “no disorder on this island.” This line is very well phrased, since it is delicate enough to please Mr. Breen but clear enough for audience members to know what he means. He then calls out for everyone to get to work. Everyone disperses, but as the crowd clears, he sees Marianne still sitting primly on a chair. He comes up to her, and she says, “Well, Monsieur? Shall I cook, or do you prefer that I milk a goat?!” Laughing slightly, Charles replies that she should try cooking, since “men are more lenient than goats.” She gets up and angrily says that he has no right to talk to her this way, but he says that he does, just like she did when he was her footman. He then says that, “The one to command is a mere matter of circumstance,” a direct quote from something she said to him that day in the library. He then quotes her again, saying that she may find “truer friends here” than she’d expect. She sneers, saying, “Such as you?” Smiling slightly, he says, “Anger makes you very charming, Mademoiselle,” revealing that he’s really still in love with her. However, she, still upset because she thinks he’s a rebel and a philanderer, angrily replies, “Patronizing makes you very boring, Monsieur,” before walking away. Charles looks after her, smiling and shaking his head slightly. Next, we are shown an overview of the progress being made on the island. We see trees being felled, men sawing logs, posts being tied together with dried reeds, roofs being thatched with palm fronds, and finally men carrying trunks into a building while the women watch them and giggle. We then see Marianne butchering a potato in an attempt to peel it with a knife. One of the other girls tells her she needs more milk, so she puts down the potato, takes a pitcher, and goes over to her aunt, who is kneeling by one of the goats, milking it. As she hands Marianne a pot of milk, she exclaims, “This is preposterous. Surely there must be an easier way of getting milk out of a goat!” Marianne hands her another pitcher and says that they’ll just have to make the best of it. Her aunt takes the pitcher with a sigh, looks doubtfully at the goat, and puts the pitcher on the ground, about to start milking again. As she’s walking away, Marianne bumps into Charles, who was watching her. He compliments her on her work, calling her “Citizeness.” She replies that she’s not working for compliments and stubbornly says that it doesn’t make her a citizeness, before walking away. He looks after her, seeming amused, but is distracted by the sound of men shouting. Some men come up with the Vicomte, and Charles asks them what’s happening. Ribaud, (whose only job seems to be making sarcastic comments,) says that a couple of his “angelic Utopians are having a bit of brotherly love.” Charles hurries over and sees two men fighting, while the other men stand around cheering them on or urging them to stop. He forces himself between the two men, saying, “A fine example! Who started this?” One of the men says that he did to teach the other fellow to stay away from his girl, Madeleine, while he’s working. He tries to start fighting again, but Charles keeps them apart. He says that if Madeleine cares for either of them that’s her business, adding that a woman has a way of letting a man know. He then says that they don’t fight for girls on his island but work for them and tells them to shake hands. They do so, and then he tells everyone to get back to work. As the men disperse, Charles sees Father Michelle and asks him how he is as a peace-maker. Father Michelle says that he’s fine but that peace-making will begin to take up much more of his time. Charles asks him what he means, and the priest replies that this is a small island, some of the young ladies in his care are quite attractive, and “men will be men and seek all the happiness they can find.” This is another fine example of delicate phrasing. Charles agrees with him and tells Alexander to “ring the assembly bell.” Alexander does so, and it fades to Charles standing on the porch of the Centre Communal, or the main building, with all the other citizens gathered in front of him. He tells them that they have made great progress in turning the island into a colony. It is now time for “greater ambitions and lasting joys.” He goes on to say that so far they have counted people by heads but that soon they will count by families. Marianne gives a sarcastic little sigh, showing that she thinks the whole thing is rather ridiculous, as Charles continues that every help will be given to new couples by the community. Alexander and Julie exchange a glance, and then she looks down demurely, implying that they’re going to get together. Then he finishes his speech with the inspiring message: “Soon a new moon will be in our horizon. Before that new moon has set, this colony will have settled down, not for years, but for generations, for a life of liberty, of fraternity, of equality!” Everyone applauds, and Father Michelle congratulates Charles on his speech. As soon as the priest walks away, several girls come up to Charles, some talking about their cooking skills, one showing him that she’s been stung, and so on. Soon, about five girls have gathered around him and are all talking at once. He finally manages to say, “Please, ladies!” Before he can continue he looks over and sees Marianne, who is surrounded by adoring suitors. She’s trying to say something but can’t seem to get a word in edgewise. It then fades to a group of men with instruments, led by Pierre, singing and playing Marianne outside the window of the women’s dwelling. Marianne comes to the window, and they all rush up to her, talking at the same time. She thanks them for their serenade and their proposals but says that it’s time for her to go to bed, since she’s “just a poor working-girl,” and she needs to get some sleep. She closes the window cover, despite the men’s loud objections, but Pierre tells them to sing again. They regroup and restart their song. They haven’t gotten very far when Marianne comes out the door, now wearing a cloak. She says that she has something to report to Charles and pushes past them, but they follow her through the town, singing their little ditty. As they near Charles’s house, he is shown at his desk, writing. He hears the men singing and goes to the window. We see Marianne again, nearing the house with her admirers close behind her. They finally finish their song as she reaches the porch of the house, and she thanks them for escorting her before saying goodnight. They won’t be discouraged this easily, however, and they say that they’ll wait for her. Looking at them doubtfully, she knocks on Charles’s door. He tells her to come in, and she enters. He bids her good evening and offers her a chair, but she quickly says that he must do something about the men. He asks her what she wants him to do, and she replies that they’re his men and demands that he make them stop serenading her constantly. Charles replies, “Oh, but this is a republic, Mademoiselle, night and day. I have no power to outlaw singing, dancing, or wooing.” “I don’t want to be wooed,” she says with comical insistance; “I refuse to be wooed!” He says that she doesn’t seem to have made this very clear, and she replies that she has, but the men keep insisting that she’ll change her mind. “Well, won’t you?” he asks her. “Monsieur,” she replies, “do I look like someone who’d marry a… moonstruck beach-comber under a coconut tree?” He says that he isn’t at all moved by her anger and indignation, since the men have not insulted her, and she can’t blame them for courting her. He then says that the only thing which does upset him is that she’s really tried to do her best in the colony, despite not wanting to be a member of it, and that she’s unhappy. She asks him what he’s going to do, and he replies, “Nothing officially. After all, I can’t give you bodyguards or call a meeting to inform the colony of your vow of celibacy and make you utterly ridiculous. But,” he continues, “privately, I might do much better.” “Privately?” Marianne whispers, seeming a little nervous. “Under the circumstances, I might let you marry me,” he says casually. “You might let me marry you?!” Marianne exclaims disbelievingly. “Mm-hmm,” Charles replies. “Are you aware, Monsieur,” Marianne asks him, “that I am not in love with you, that I have no intention of falling in love with you, and if I should, through some unpredictable curse, happen to fall in love with you, I’d run to the nearest cliff and jump off!” “At least we seem to share a perfect community of feelings,” he replies. She asks him why she should marry him if that’s the case, and he replies that it would make the men leave her alone. He would have more power as a husband than as the head of a republic. He reminds her that he said this was a very private solution to her problem, and she replies that it’s much too private. He assures her that the only kind of marriage he meant was a “gentleman’s agreement to live in harmonious indifference beneath one roof, but two ceilings.” “You don’t really expect me to trust you, do you?” she asks. “Not if you overrate the temptation,” he replies. “Well, I can hardly underrate your insolence, Monsieur,” Marianne replies, hurrying indignantly to the door. “I’ll take care of my problem by myself thank you. Goodnight.” He merely nods to her as she sweeps out the door, but she is stopped cold as her suitors begin their song again. She looks at them, glances back at the door, and then gives them a slight, weak smile. It then fades to Father Michelle standing with his arms extended to the sides, smiling as people cheer and throw flowers in the air. The camera pulls back to show that he has his hands on the shoulders of Marianne and Charles, who are standing on either side of him, pretending to smile. Obviously, they have just gotten married and are pretending to be happy. He takes Charles’s arm and guides it around Marianne’s shoulder. Charles tells her through his teeth to smile, and she, also through her teeth due to her fake smile, replies that she is. They step down from the porch on which they were standing and begin walking along together. Alexander and Julie are walking on either side, and we get the idea that they are married. Alexander congratulates Charles, and Julie says she could cry, to which Marianne replies, “So could I.” They then reach a long table which is filled with a large feast. The other party-goers tell Marianne to make a speech, so she thanks them and starts to sit down, but Charles pulls her back up. She symbolically says that there are “no words” to express her real feelings and that this is a day she will never forget. She finally says that she hopes this marriage will bring Charles as much happiness as it brings her. Tombaur proposes a toast to them and “all the little Charleses and Mariannes to come,” and Marianne looks at Charles in horror. Valerie than asks Charles if he isn’t going to “kiss his little bride for such a nice speech.” He replies, “Think nothing of it,” and tries to kiss Marianne, but she leans so far back she almost falls off the bench. He finally manages to give her a quick kiss before she pushes him away. Pierre and her other former suitors then step forward and begin singing Marianne with different words, congratulating Charles on his beautiful bride. The indifferent wedding couple then begin romantic lyrics about their future married life while throwing little glares at each other. When they’ve finished, everyone applauds, and then Charles says, “Now everybody dance!” Several couples begin dancing in the area which has been set up for the celebration, and then it fades to a new shot. It is now night and torches have been lit around the area, but the couples are still dancing and singing “We will dance all night, ’til the broad daylight, and then we’ll dance all day.” We then see the bridal couple by the table. Charles is talking to Valerie, and Marianne is watching the couples dance. On seeing her yawn, Alexander, who is standing behind her, talking to Julie, asks her if she’s tired. She quickly replies that she isn’t and that she could watch them dance all night, but Alexander still gets up onto the bench and calls for everyone to stop dancing. He then says that, although the bridal couple have very politely let them celebrate, they have work to do the next day, and they can’t keep on celebrating forever. Marianne asks why not, and he replies, “Because the time has come when friends must part and lovers meet.” Marianne looks doubtfully at Charles, while he gives her a slightly mischievous smile. The revelers then converge on them and lead them over to a sedan which several of the men are holding. They sit down on it and are carried away. It then cuts to a shot of the bridal couple arriving at their house, escorted by the party-goers, who are once again singing the melody of Marianne. They step up onto the porch as their friends throw flowers at them, and Valerie comes up to Marianne, saying that it’s all “so, so overwhelming.” Marianne angrily whispers, “Don’t be ridiculous, auntie!” Her aunt shrugs slightly and walks back to the crowd of people. Charles bids everyone goodnight, but they call that he must carry Marianne over the threshold. She quietly says, “Don’t you dare touch me,” but he turns her around and picks her up anyway. She quickly puts on a smile as he turns back to the crowd, and then he carries her in and kicks the door closed. She angrily says, “Put me down, you savage.” He replies “Gladly,” and carries her into a bedroom and places her on the bed, telling her that this will be her room and that he hopes she finds it restful. She replies that she will if he will remember that she married him only for protection and that her room is not the boudoir of the Princess de Caravais. She then asks him if there’s a lock on her door, and he replies that both their doors have locks. He picks up a large log which is propped against the wall and carries it over to her. He then says that her aunt is obviously better at questioning than at listening, since the Princess de Caravais is eighty years old and his grandmother. He tells her that the Duke de Vidier who went into her boudoir sixty years ago was the fifth Duke de Vidier, and he married her. He then promptly drops her lock into her lap and knocks her over in the process, while saying, “Here’s your lock, Mademoiselle; bolt yourself up!” He then walks out. Struggling to hold the heavy lock, she walks to the door and calls, “Did you say eighty?” Charles, who is in the doorway of his room, replies, “I said goodnight,” and walks into his room. Marianne, delighted, says to herself, “Eighty… practically a hundred! Oh, the darling.” Then she pauses, looking rather disgruntled, and says, “Might as well be eighty myself now.” She seems about to say something else, but she forgets that she’s holding the lock and, releasing her grip, drops it on her foot. Charles rushes in and finds her hopping on her good foot. She tells him she dropped the “key,” and it takes him a moment to understand that she means the lock. He helps her over to the bed, saying that it’s his job to take care of her, and, kneeling by the bed, tells her to give him her foot. She refuses, but he says, “Come, come, don’t you know I’m a specialist?” “Doctor?” Marianne replies warily. “No, a footman, remember?” he replies, taking her foot. He unlaces her shoe to look at her foot and jokingly says, “Kick me; you’ll love it.” Marianne replies, “I don’t want to laugh,” and he says,“Alright, cry.” “I don’t want to cry!” she replies. “Alright,” he says kindly. “Now, tell me…” “I don’t want to talk!” she insists. He nods. He looks at her foot, and we see her looking at him with tears in her eyes. “Well,” he says, “nothing broken. Toes, responsive. Ankle… perfect.” He looks up at her with a slight, mischievous smile, but his expression changes when he sees that she’s crying. “Marianne,” he says, “tears? Why are you crying?” “I don’t know,” she replies tearfully. “Well, we must find out,” he says. “I don’t want to know,” she replies. “You mean you don’t want to say?” he asks her kindly. “Don’t ask,” she sobs, pressing her finger by her eyes in an attempt to control her tears, “please!” “I won’t,” he replies gently. “Here,” he gently takes her hand and turns her, saying, “you lie down here, and you’ll feel much better.” “Yes, Charles,” she replies, lying down. He sits down next to her. “Well, goodnight,” he says. “Goodnight,” she replies. “Sleep tight,” he replies. “Sleep well,” she says. “Yeah,” he says, seeming unwilling to leave. “Goodnight,” he repeats. “Goodnight,” she says. “Luck in your dreams,” he adds. “Luck in yours,” she replies. He finally rises to leave, but she says, “Wait, Charles.” He promptly sits down, not in any hurry to leave. “Thank you, Charles,” she says. “You’ve just been very kind to me.” “Did you expect me to beat you?” he asks her jokingly. “Well, no,” she replies. “But it makes it so much easier now for me to tell you something.” “I hope I’ll be very glad to hear it,” he replies. “But if I tell you, you must promise to leave immediately afterwards,” she says. “I promise,” he replies. “Oh,” she says, looking disappointed. “Well, anyway, I think I might have misjudged you, Charles,” she says. “I can’t help admiring you for all you’ve done on this island. For… for your kindness to everyone. For your foolish ideals, and reckless courage, and for the joy I’ve had in… in helping. And I hope you and I will be very good friends from now on.” “Thank you, Marianne,” he replies.“There’s a lot to say for… friendship.” “Oh, yes,” she says. “But,” she sighs, “someday a girl in the colony will win your heart. I just wanted you to know that… when that happens, I’ll be very happy for you. I promise I’ll not be in the way.” “Thank you, Marianne” he says. “Are you sure this is what you wanted to tell me?” “Oh, yes,” she says again. “And something more. For the time being… please, Charles, treat me in all things just like a second Princess de Caravais.” “Like my grandmother?” he asks, laughing slightly. She nods. “She must be wonderful.” Her smile fades, and she looks slightly wistful. “She has everything I haven’t, hasn’t she?” “Well,” Charles replies. “Everything but a few things.” “Well, goodnight now, my friend,” Marianne says. “Oh, but Marianne,” Charles says. “Yes, Charles?” Marianne says eagerly. “My grandmother always… kissed me goodnight,” he says innocently. “Oh?” Marianne says. “Well… don’t you think my blessing might do?” He shakes his head and says, “Just make it a light and casual little smack. I’ll close my eyes and never know the difference.” “Yes, I know you won’t,” Marianne says sadly. Charles leans over and starts to kiss her gently but is cut short by the sound of a cannon. He rushes to the window as Marianne sits up and slips her foot back into her shoe. There’s a knock at the door, and Charles rushes to open it. Alexander, who is outside, says that there’s a French battleship in the water off the island. Charles tells him to order all the men to the barricades and the women to the chapel with Father Michelle. Alexander hurries away, and Charles rushes to his desk to get his guns. Marianne insists that he can’t fight the whole French fleet, but he replies that “it’s fight or perish for every man on this island.” He rushes to the door and, taking both her hands in his, says, “Goodbye, Marianne. Forgive me for any grief I ever caused you.” Then, he kisses both her her hands and runs out. She steps out onto the porch and calls, “Charles, Charles! You come back, Charles!” She sobs. “You must come back to me!” She begins singing Lover, Come Back to Me, with different lyrics. As she finishes the verse, she is cut off by the sound of Charles singing back to her, though he is too far away for them to see each other. We see a shot of him, standing closer to the shore, looking up rapturously and singing to her. They sing the rest of the song together, as dramatically and emotionally as they would if they were two inches from each other. Then the cannons boom again, and Charles runs down the hill. Marianne rushes back into the house and looks out through the slats in the window covers. She then paces back and forth dramatically, while nearly all the songs played earlier in the movie are interwoven and overlapped as chaotic background music. The cannons boom again and she rushes up to the window, looking out in such a way that only her mouth and her slightly crazed eyes are visible. She rather desperately says, “He will come back! He will come back to me!” It then fades slowly to Marianne sitting in a chair with her head down on her arms, either crying or dozing. She raises her head at the sound of a trumpet call and listens attentively with wide eyes. She winces at the sound of a drum-roll, and, as the call sounds again, she puts her hand to her throat, obviously thinking that Charles is about to be executed. Suddenly, she hears Charles leading his men in singing Stouthearted Men, and she rushes to the window in time to see them coming through the trees with torches, a sight rather reminiscent of the procession along the bayou the first time they sang Stouthearted Men. She joyfully whispers “Charles” as the song merges into La Marseilles, and she rushes out onto the porch in time to see the procession nearing the house. Charles is at the front in between Alexander and a man in a captain’s uniform, carrying a small pole with a flag on it. He and the men then merge into Paris, yet again with new lyrics, and sing the end of Stouthearted Men as they near the house. The other village women come rushing up from the other direction, as the men stop in front of the house and finish their song. Marianne breathlessly says, “Charles,” and her husband rushes up to her and says, “France is free, Marianne. The king is no more, France is a republic!” He stabs the flagpole into the ground and takes the flag in his hands to show it to her. “The new flag of the free people of France!” “But the shots! The battle!” Marianne says. The man in the captain’s uniform says, “Our friendly salute was mistaken for an attack. Fortunately, Citizen de Vidier observed our flag of truce in time to prevent disaster.” “Citizen Ravel brought us the good news,” Charles says, smiling at the captain. “We are very grateful, Monsieur Ravel,” Marianne says to him. Alexander interrupts them to say to Ravel, “Your salute, my dear Commissar, interrupted the honeymoon of Citizen de Vidier and his bride.” Charles and Marianne look at each other shyly, and Citizen Ravel says, “Well, then accept France’s freedom as a wedding gift from the republic. Goodnight.” He takes off his glove and shakes Charles’s hand. “Goodnight, Citizen.” “Goodnight, Citizen!” Charles replies happily. Citizen Ravel and Alexander walk away, followed by the other citizens, as Marianne holds out her hands to Charles and says, “Citizen de Vidier!” Charles happily takes her hands and says, “Citizeness de Vidier!” They then begin singing Wanting You with slightly altered lyrics as their fellow citizens walk by, singing Stouthearted Men in the background. At the words, “hold you close to my eager breast,” Charles embraces Marianne, and then holds her out at arm’s length so they can sing the climax. As they sing the ending, he picks her up and carries her into the house, singing “all I adore.” The words The End are projected over a shot of two ships sailing away as the music ends.
Before I end my article on one of the great Hollywood musicals, New Moon, I would like to make note of three wonderful Code moments in this film. The first notable Code moment is in Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise. In the original lyrics to this song, at one point he says, “For the passions that thrill love/And lift you high to heaven/Are the passions that kill love/And let you fall to hell!” In the movie, the italicized words were changed to once more, since reference to hell, unless in a religious sense, was not usually allowed under the Code. The second great Code moment is the kiss at the end of Wanting You. There is a widely-believed myth that a three-second limit was put on kisses under the Code, but this was not true, and this film shows why such a rule would have been ineffectual. The Code merely says that kissing must not be “excessive or lustful.” The aforementioned kiss in this film lasts for almost eight seconds but is Code-compliant because it is merely passionate and romantic, not lustful. I have seen many one or two second kisses in non-Code films that are far more lustful than this eight second one in a grand Code film. For example, in the 1962 film The Notorious Landlady, Jack Lemmon and Kim Novak have a climactic romantic scene which is an important point in the plot. I don’t think any of the kisses exceed three seconds, but they seem lustful and unacceptable. The third exceptional Code moment in this film is the scene in Marianne’s bedroom at the end. This scene could easily have become like the Honeymoon Hotel number in the pre-Code film Footlight Parade by too heavily stressed the element of marriage discussed in Section II of the Code. Although there is nothing wrong with this when two people are married, it is too intimate to be portrayed on the screen, since it can become base, vulgar, and disgusting. This delicacy is maintained at the end when Charles carries her into the house. You get the idea that they are not going to have separate bedrooms anymore, but they aren’t shown getting into bed together or even entering the same bedroom. They keep us outside the door and leave what happens next to our imaginations.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my nicely-detailed but rather lengthy entry in my Singing Sweethearts Blogathon. I appreciate all the people who have signed up for my first blogathon, and I would like to thank them for their wonderful articles. I hope that all my participants are enjoying this blogathon as much as I am, and I look forward to the articles which will be submitted today and tomorrow. Now, thank you, and good day! This article is for PEPS’s “Singing Sweethearts Blogathon.” I hope you enjoy it!
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