July 6, 2014

Maurice Chevalier, The Big Pond


If Wallace Beery in The Big House was a vicious brute, then Maurice Chevalier in The Big Pond is the polar opposite--his Pierre is a sweet, happy-go-lucky Frenchman who often times spontaneously bursts into song. I didn't really enjoy The Big Pond, mostly because I didn't care for how simple-minded and hokey the writing was. Chevalier does his best at making the film bearable, but everything the script calls for was a bit too frivolous for my tastes. Chevalier's handsome and no one can deny him that, but everything else regarding Pierre falls flat. For starters, Chevalier's english is pretty patchy, and many of his line deliveries were clumsy and incomprehensible (though that may be accentuated by the fact that the film is an early talkie). Further, Pierre is a very simple character and there's not much there for an actor to really flourish...let's watch Maurice Chevalier smile! Now let's watch him sing a song, and another song, and another song...Now let's watch him look perplexed as he tries to assimilate to the American way of life! This isn't a terrible performance, but it's definitely substandard and doesn't have much to offer outside of being somewhat pleasant fluff.


  1. In my mind he'll always be the old man singing the creepily traumatizing song about little girls, from "Gigi". :-/

    :) but yeah, this sounds like a blast. Hope it was short. :)

  2. It was shortish but felt waaaaaay longer :P