Her Majesty, Love (1931) was W.C. Fields‘ first sound feature, though he is not the star — that honor falls to his old Follies colleague Marilyn Miller. However the plot structure is one that would become in most of his features. Based on a German film Ihre Majestat die Liebe which had been released only months earlier, the film casts Miller as a barmaid at a Berlin nightclub who falls in love with a wealthy young heir (Ben Lyon). Fields plays her father, a barber and former juggler to whom the boy’s appalled family, led by his snobbish brother (Ford Sterling) begins objecting the instant he starts doing tricks at the supper table. Another Fields Follies cohort Leon Errol is also in the cast as a rival for the girl, and Fields’ former screen partner Chester Conklin is in the film as well. Her Majesty, Love was the last of only three pre-code musical screen vehicles for Miller, the other two being Sally (1929) and Sunny (1930). Dissatisfied with the results, she returned to the stage, and died in a botched surgical operation only five years later. The reception to Fields’ performance in the film on the other hand assured of him a career in sound features.
Long available in vaults, Her Majesty, Love was finally released on DVD by Warner Brothers earlier this year. Get your copy here.