24 November 2009 | TheLittleSongbird
Lavish production values, phenomenal music and two sublime lead performances, in general a real musical treat of a film!
I heard so much about The Chocolate Soldier from watching clips of both Nelson Eddy and Rise Stevens on YouTube and people telling me how good it was, and desperately I wanted to see it. I finally saw it, and you know what, I wasn't disappointed.
I will agree that the story about a man suspecting his wife of infidelity is predictable and creaks with age, and the choreography at times was disappointingly unexciting and pedestrian. But putting these flaws aside, this is a truly beautiful and entertaining film. One thing for certain, the production values were simply fabulous. The lavish costumes and beautiful sets were really a wonder to look at. The score is phenomenal, featuring some Oscar Strauss hits like My Hero, Thank the Lord the War is Over, Sympathy and of course the Chocolate Soldier, and some well known opera gems like Mon Couer s'oeuvre a Ta voix from Saint Saens's Samson and Delilah and Evening Star from Wagner's Tannhauser. While my Lady Sleeps was stunning too, but the real highlight was the enormously entertaining Song of the Flea. The performances were sublime; while the beautiful Rise Stevens is probably at her loveliest and sings beautifully, it is the wonderful undervalued Nelson Eddy who steals the show with his beautiful resonant voice and flawless comic timing and stage presence. Nigel Bruce and Florence Bates are good too.
All in all, a beautiful film. Not perfect, but the production values, score and performances make it a treat. 8/10 Bethany Cox