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The Great Lover

The Great Lover(1931)

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Aboard an ocean liner, famous opera baritone Jean Paurel, a philanderer and a great lover of American women, occupies himself by pursuing his amorous interests, usually married or otherwise spoken for women. Before landing in America, Paurel meets the lovely Diana Page, who has been studying opera in Italy, and, after hearing her beautiful voice, he arranges an audition for her at the opera house the next day. The temperamental Savarova, who is Paurel's former lover, is still angry over the end of their affair, which occurred many years ago, and tells the baritone that she refuses to sing with him. Likewise, Paurel tells Stapleton, the director, that he refuses to perform with her. While waiting for her appointment with Paurel, Diana happens upon Carlo, Diana's sweetheart and Paurel's understudy, who, having failed many times in the past to get her to marry him, asks her once again. Diana resents his persistence, but when she is informed that her appointment with Paurel has been cancelled, the dejected singer accepts Carlo's lunch invitation. When Diana sees Paurel descending a staircase and singing a tune with Savarova, she joins in with the musical response. Paurel then takes her to lunch, leaving Savarova and Carlo spurned. Diana's audition is interrupted by Savarova's unwelcome intrusion and her flirtations with Paurel. After Diana admits that she felt cheapened by the incident, Paurel comforts her with a kiss. Later, Paurel tells Potter, his personal valet, that he is truly in love with Diana and that he plans to marry her. Aware of Paurel's reputation with women, Carlo asks Diana if she has made love to him, and then questions her self-respect. Diana tells Carlo that Paurel spurned her, and then accompanies him to dinner. No sooner are they seated at their table, than Paurel espies her and insists that she sing for his private party upstairs. After Diana gives a wonderful performance, Paurel insists that she replace Savarova at the opening of the Metropolitan season, and then publicly announces his plans to marry her. At the opening, Diana's performance is enthusiastically received by all, and Paurel, whose voice faltered during his performance, gives her his lucky charm. In Diana's dressing room, Carlo congratulates the new star on her success, and when he kisses her, Savarova witnesses it and immediately tells Paurel. Outraged at Savarova's spitefulness in telling him such a story, Paurel yells at her, permanently ruining his voice. When Paurel's doctor confirms the end of his singing career, he tells Diana that he will devote the rest of his life solely to making her happy. After learning that Paurel plans to take Diana to Italy to train her, Carlo tells Paurel that she loves him only out of gratitude for helping her, and that he, Carlo, is her true love. Paurel realizes that Carlo is right when he sees the emotion in her eyes as she tells Carlo about her engagement. As a result, Paurel gracefully announces that he has changed his mind about taking her to Italy. Almost immediately, Paurel returns to his philandering ways and takes up an affair with Mrs. Loring, a former acquaintance, and Carlo and Diana resume their romance.