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The melodies of You've Got That Thing and You Do Something to Me lace the soundtrack, but Hollywood did something to the screen version of the Cole Porter musical Fifty Million Frenchmen: It dropped the songs! At the time, moviegoers frowned on song-and-dance vehicles, so the studio-tinkered result was a frantic contraption of nonstop jokes, sassy pre-Code double entendres and the antics of vaudeville/radio stars Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson. The slender plot concerns a $50,000 bet that lovestruck American-in-Paris Jack Forbes (William Gaxton repeating his Broadway role) can woo and wed the alluring LuLu (Claudia Dell) without his wealth. But the sidebars are more fun: Helen Broderick as a randy tourist who wants to be "insulted," the mischief of Olsen and Johnson (leading the Paris police on a madcap Keystone Kops-like finale chase) and a briefly seen Bela Lugosi as a magician mystic denied his chance to perform. Not to worry for Bela: Fifty Million Frenchmen shared its 1931 opening day with another opus called Dracula, and the rest is history. Vive le Hollywood! -

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WAA591886 Fifty Million Frenchmen DVD (1931/Ole Olsen/Chic Johnson) $21.99