Si L'Empereur Savait Ca (1930)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - France, USA  |  
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His Glorious Night, the first talkie version of Ferenc Molnar's Olympia, is remembered today as the film that ruined John Gilbert. Legend has it that silent-screen-idol Gilbert's voice recorded so badly that audiences laughed out loud when he declared his love for Catherine Dale Owen, though this derision had more to do with his awful dialogue than his (minimal) vocal inadequacies. At any rate, the Molnar original was simultaneously filmed in a Spanish, German, and French-language version; the first two retained the title Olympia, while the French adaptation was titled Si L'Empereur Savait Ca (If The Emperor Only Knew). Andre Luguet steps into the John Gilbert role as Captain Kovacs, a dashing military officer in love with the beautiful daughter (Tania Fedor) of a high-born general (she was a Princess in the original, and she was played by Catherine Dale Owen). The girl's mother, who has slated her daughter to marry a Prince, breaks up the romance, whereupon Kovacs threatens to publicly impugn the heroine's reputation if he isn't permitted a night alone with her before the wedding. He gets what he wants, only to prove that he's really an honorable man after all. Both the French and German versions of Olympia were directed by Jacques Feyder; the property was remade in 1960 as A Breath of Scandal.