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Barry K. Barnes,
Madame Adele, once a great star of the Paris theatre, has fallen upon hard times. But she allows a young American performer, Marie Duval, to perform as the Madame Adele of old, and both become the darlings of Paris, one again and the other newly-crowned. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Absolute nonsense!! And I loved every single second of it!! Beautifully preserved film, too...
I watched "The Belle of Broadway" (1926) with Betty Compson, Herbert Rawlinson, Edith Yorke, Armand Kaliz, Tom Ricketts, and others. Well, talk about stretching credulity to the breaking point - and utterly enjoying it! This is it! First of all, let me congratulate the release of this particular print. It's not only pristine, but it will fool some who may think this is a modern film simply being shot as a silent. It's so clean as to be the single finest example of a restored film I've ever seen. If it's not restored, then the print from which it was taken is as if it were new! This one begins in Paris in 1896. Madame Adele, long the Belle of Broadway, is now the star of Paris, and is doing her most famous play, "Madame Du Barry". It's a smash hit. But - there's the Count Raoul de Palma in the audience. He throws her a bouquet of flowers - with a bracelet in it - a very expensive bracelet... Instead of making it all the way to Madame on stage at the end of the show, the flowers are interrupted in the orchestra pit by her jealous husband who reaches and catches them. (He sits in the orchestra pit every night, it would seem, simply to halt such proceedings...) The husband suspects something. He goes to her room when he gets home and takes their son. Fast forward thirty years. Son shows up in Paris. It's raining. Friend from NY (in military uniform) comes over and sits down at a bistro table outside with son. All of a sudden a girl nearly stumbles in the rain and gets her shoe caught in the mud. Son and girl meet. He walks her home. She won't give her name. He tells her his, though. She explains to Madame Adele, now long past her prime and too old to get any parts on stage, but living in the same place as the girl, she met a man who brought her home. Of course, Madame Adele hasn't seen her son since he was taken...
Now comes the stretch...
Madame Adele brings out her old costume from "Du Barry". Of course it fits the girl like a glove. Indeed, the girl (Betty Compson) looks EXACTLY like Madame Adele did all those years ago!! Long story short: Betty Compson revives the play "Du Barry" and is a success - but, wait: there's lots more... Compson is claiming she's Adele with lots and lots of plastic surgery!! NOW, the movie begins...
WOW! It's a fun romp. Absolute nonsense, and I couldn't stop watching. Great fun, with fine actors and actresses showing us why they were stars. They still are! By the way, I'll always laugh whenever I see Tom Ricketts. He plays Compson's manager in this one. But he played the old, old, old butler in "After the Thin Man", and he was hilarious. Here he's half-way serious, and he seems like a different person. Fine old character actor.
This was released a couple of weeks ago, and it's available through Amazon. If you want to see the silent age come alive again, here you go!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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