|Index||3 reviews in total|
Excellent Gloria Swanson comedy about a hapless waitress (Swanson)
who'll do anything to catch the eye of handsome wheat-cake flipper
(Lawrence Gray), who calls her "Mouse." Film starts out with a
beautiful 2-strip Technicolor fantasy that depicts Swanson's daydreams
about being a great actress. She is seen is a series of fabulous
costumes, playing greats parts like Salome. As the red-haired Salome
bends to kiss the cold dead lips of John (on a silver platter) the film
switches to B&W as the platter turns into a tray covered by plates of
steaming food. Swanson is trying to work thru the diner throngs to
deliver the food.
The plot revolves around her crazy stunts in an attempt to attract Gray. But after the river show boat steams into town with a glamorous actress (Gertrude Astor) Swanson is determined to get on the stage. With the help of the boat owner (Ford Sterling) she finally gets her wish and is billed as the Masked Marvel in of all things a female boxing match.
This film is zany and fast-paced and sweet-natured and 25 years before I Love Lucy. Stage Struck is a total pleasure. Swanson is just excellent, seems to be doing all her own stunt work, and looks great. The opening color sequences are gorgeous, and the closing color sequence (happy ending of course) is a lot of fun.
It's easy to see why Swanson was so popular in the 20s.
Gloria Swanson stars as "Jenny," a clumsy and unsophisticated waitress in love with her flap-jack flipping co-worker "Orme." Only problem is, Orme only has eyes for actresses. When the yearly (?) showboat glides into their West Virginia town with its show and new actress, Orme is smitten. Jenny, who has secretly been working on getting a correspondence course certificate in acting, tries to imitate the showboat actress but fails miserably. But she is given her chance to prove her acting chops ... Throughout Swanson works some real pathos into this slapstick comedy. She's generally terrific throughout. The story gets a bit convoluted at times, but this is a pretty enjoyable flick that begins with a Salome performance in Technicolor! Check it out if you get the chance.
I saw this film today at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (10th Annual). I'd never seen Gloria Swanson in one of her silent films, knowing her mainly for her work in SUNSET BOULEVARD where she appeared under the direction of master Billy Wilder. Having seen STAGE STRUCK (directed by Alan Dwan), one immediately sees that Miss Swanson was a major acting talent and a superb comedienne with terrific timing. Moreover, she really knew how to "work the camera." Her performance is so modern, clever, and smart in a very cinematic way that you'd think she was born to be a movie star! Put aside your preconceptions of the typical silent screen actress and check out this performance if the opportunity arises. The print we saw today was a restoration by the George Eastman House in New York.
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