What is this: name that tune classical edition? I heard some “Liebestraum,” some “Clair de Lune” … Beautiful stuff. Too bad it does absolutely nothing for the story. I was already very opinionated about the importance of music and sound to affect the mood of the film. This film reiterates my position. Without the usual musical cues, the mood gets lost in translation. The march begins while the characters laugh in a bedroom. It’s light and airy when she’s obviously depressed. I never knew when to be happy or sad or worried. So I usually just laughed.
Champagne is about a spoiled heiress Betty (Betty Balfour) (also the only character with a name) who uses her father’s (Gordon Harker) airplane to meet up with her lover (Jean Bradin) on a ship and run off together. Though apparently she’s not supposed to do the marriage arrangements otherwise groom-to-be will get angry and lose the desire to get hitched. Our fourth character is a mysterious man (Ferdinand von Alten) whom Betty had met while her boy was seasick and stuck in bed and revisits the scene many times throughout the movie.
The tables definitely turn when her disapproving father announces that he has lost their entire family fortune. Betty attempts to sell all her jewelry only to be robbed in the process. Totally broke, they have to rough it and unfortunately for the father, little Betty can’t cook well enough for a dog. She ultimately finds work at a restaurant where she meets up with the mysterious man and boyfriend one last time…
Etc. I’m having a hard time writing this review because I was as far from interested as I could be. Don’t get me wrong – I gave it my all, I sat through the entire thing and tried my best to appreciate what little I could. My biggest irritant was by far the music, though I can’t really blame Hitchcock for that. I’m sure he had no intention of placing nearly 50 classical pieces to play at random throughout his entire work. I suppose there’s nothing terribly wrong for the story, just the pace. The acting is fair. The only thing commendable is innovative visual technique.
I really hope I don’t have to watch this again. That’s all. 2/10