21 June 2009 | bkoganbing
What Leo Did For Love
When Grace Moore scored such a big hit in One Night Of Love the year before, Harry Cohn decided to repeat it with the same formula. Grace once again plays a budding opera singer with the same director, Victor Schertzinger. Schertzinger also wrote the title song of that film with Gus Kahn and the songwriting team does the same here in Love Me Forever.
One thing that Cohn did try with decent results was for maybe the only time in his career Leo Carrillo was a leading man. Carrillo's part is similar to the one that James Cagney had in Love Me Or Leave Me. Carrillo is a guy from the streets who worked his way up to proprietorship of a nightclub, gambling palace, and restaurant. He's always on the lookout for the gentleman's toys that symbolize class.
At an auction where a woman who has now slipped into genteel poverty is selling off her possessions, Carrillo hears her sing and is entranced with Grace Moore. She's got a millionaire in Robert Allen who's already interested in her, but she won't marry him just for his money. But she sure don't mind Carrillo spending everything on her and I do mean everything.
If the whole incident with Ruth Etting and her present and past husband had not occurred yet, I would have said that Love Me Forever was based on her story done for grand opera. They even have a best friend for Carrillo in the person of Luis Alberni. He functions in the exact same way that Harry Bellaver does vis a vis Cagney in Love Me Or Leave Me.
In addition to the title song which became part of Moore's concert repertoire, Grace gets to sing several arias and gives the movie going public a taste of some really great and serious music. Like we sure don't today. She also carries off the part of the diva quite well, then again it was typecasting to the max.