A young American girl visits Paris accompanied by her fiancee and her wealthy uncle. There she meets and is romanced by a worldly novelist; what she doesn't know is that he is a blackmailer who is using her to get to her uncle.
Lester Dorr (Attendant), Earl Eby (Entertainer) and Robert McKenzie are in studio records/casting call lists as actors in this movie but they never appeared. Eby may have been the pianist at Dubin's, but he is never shown. Bert Roach is listed as "The Host" in the onscreen credits and may possibly be seen in long-shot in one of the party scenes, but for all practical purposes he was deleted from the final print. Some of the other actors can be briefly seen but have no lines. There may have been extensive editing, since it is listed in studio records as an 8-reel production, but only runs 70 minutes. See more »
About 5 minutes into the movie, a horse-drawn taxi backs into a car & damages it's left headlight but in the next scene, it is the right headlight that is damaged & even more so. See more »
Glamour Before Substance but Lovely Lombard Makes it Work
The best thing one can say about LOVE BEFORE BREAKFAST is that it looks wonderful with sparkling cinematography by Ted Tetzlaff, lovely gowns for Lombard by Travis Banton, and stunning art direction by Albert S. D'Agostino, making one forget this film was from Universal, then not one of the major studios and only occasionally producing "A" movies such as this. The movie wonderfully captures the privileged life of the rich with ocean liners, elegant New York nightclubs, weekends yachting with friends or private horseback riding trails. There's no Depression on this planet with executives buying $2,000 worth of charity raffle tickets without batting an eye which surely appealed to the considerably less comfortable general public of the era. Add to the mix a beautiful, appealing heroine in the form of Carole Lombard and what more could you want. Well maybe a better script, better leading men, and more appealing characters.
Lombard stars as a socialite engaged to rising businessman Cesar Romero somewhat unaware of the obsession another acquaintance, ultra rich Preston Foster, has for her. Foster buys out the oil company Romero works for so he can give him a promotion and get him out the way - a two-year stint as a vice president in the Japan offices!! The brash, unctuous but supposedly (according to the screenwriter) agreeable Foster can't help but brag about his machinations to Lombard moments after Romero is on his way to Japan, to which Lombard is quite naturally repelled. Considerable time is then devoted to further control-freak methods by Foster to win Lombard who comes to despise the man she (accurately) calls a "little Napoleon". Eventually, he wears her down and she agrees to marry him if blatantly admitting she is not in love with him. Having won his prize, Foster is happy enough with this but soon decides he would rather win her completely so he brings Romero back to New York, but he still has a few tricks up his sleeve.
The Preston Foster character is so charmless and controlling it's good to see Lombard fighting him every step of the way but it's difficult to see any supposed "good points" the man is supposed to have. Most curious is Lombard's mother Janet Beecher favoritism for Foster of her daughter's two suitors, is it simply because he is the far richer beau? At one point late in the film Foster is actually quite indifferent to Lombard's safety which appalls Beecher if only for a moment. Couldn't she then see the real man whom her daughter was well familiar with? Lombard is terrific in this movie, raising it to the level of a fairly entertaining movie, one can imagine what a total misfire it would be without her. Some reviewers have commented she gets rather abrasive herself into the film but given her non-stop harassment in the guise of love (or more accurately, obsession) from Foster, I'd say her hostility and attitude are more than justified. Foster is quite unappealing but it's not his fault as much as the screenwriter's take on the character, although his lack of appeal is undercut by the blandness and shallowness of Lombard's other suitor, Cesar Romero. Joyce Compton has a cute bit as a visiting southern débutante whom Lombard briefly entangles in one of her payback stunts against Foster.
The movie quickly wraps things up with a quickie ending that would seem direct steal from Lombard's classic MY MAN GODFREY if not for the fact that this movie predated that legendary film by several months.
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