The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo is a romantic comedy from Twentieth Century Fox, starring Ronald Colman and Joan Bennett – he a Russian prince who has broken the bank at the casino in Monte Carlo and she a music hall performer hired by the casino to go undercover to lure him back to the gambling tables. As ever, things are complicated by love.
Luise’s connection to the film is a brief but interesting one. She had made an overnight sensation in her debut American film, co-starring with William Powell in Escapade, which was released in the summer of 1935. Louis B. Mayer at MGM wished to capitalise on this by loaning her out to Twentieth Century Fox for her second picture but in a move which would indicate how her relationship with her new boss would pan out, Luise responded and convinced him instead to cast her with Powell again in The Great Ziegfeld, seeing an opportunity to make something of a particular scene – the telephone scene that would bring her first Oscar.
During her short time at MGM Luise was never loaned to other studios; after her two successful Oscar wins they kept their star to themselves but wasted her in some pleasant if undemanding roles. The role in The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo went to Joan Bennett, about whom the New York Times critic Andre Sennwald wrote, “[she is] pretty badly miscast, her wooden charm and vocal monotony having almost nothing to do with the lady of mystery that she is pretending to be.”