His Glorious Night, the 1929 film version of Ferenc Molnar's Olympia, proved an embarrassment for MGM due to the starring performance of silent-screen idol John Gilbert. Legend has it that audiences laughed at Gilbert's high-pitched, girlish voice; the truth is that Gilbert's vocal timbre was acceptable enough, but the dialogue written for him was horrendous, and his delivery of that dialogue even worse. One suspects that José Crespo, who played Gilbert's role in Olimpia, the Spanish-language version of One Glorious Night, fared somewhat better than his American counterpart, if only because the florid dialogue might have played better in a different language. Substantially, the Spanish version is the same as the original: Young Captain Kovacs, in love with the beautiful Princess Orsolini, is thwarted by the princess' mother, who has promised her daughter's hand to another. In retaliation, Kovacs begins spreading rumors that he himself is a no-good swindler, and that he has a packet of the princess' love letters which he will make public unless the girl is allowed to spend the night with him. She does, but before anything untoward can happen, hero and heroine are married -- which is what Kovacs intended all along. Olimpia was out of date even in 1929 and wasn't any more effective when it was remade as A Breath of Scandal in 1960.
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