I have a feeling that Alessandra Stanley's article "Can 50 Million Frenchmen Be Wrong?" (Oct. 21), on the actor Mickey Rourke, is going to attract outraged and humorless complaints like flies.
“Music theatre buffs got their chance last weekend to take in a rare concert performance of Cole Porter’s early Broadway show ’50 Million Frenchmen’ performed by American Classics. Many of their regulars were in fine voice and ready to take on the broad, and sometimes racy lyrics and vintage jokes of this period piece.” – Will Stackman, PNP Network,, 11/13/05
50 Million Frenchmen, unfortunately, is just such a beast. Starring the mostly forgotten Olsen and Johnson, the movie is an adaption of a then-popular stage musical that featured songs by Cole Porter. Since this was released in 1931 (after the musical deluge of 1930), all of those songs have been cut. All we have left is a start and go comedy that doesn’t shy away from the corniest gags it can manage.
The weirdest thing I noticed about 50 Million Frenchmen is that its structure is much closer to that of silent comedies than most musical comedies of the era. No personality for the heroine, the heroes are all goofballs who keep going through short sketches, and the movie climaxes in a big action finale.