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Kiki (1926)

 -  Comedy  -  4 April 1926 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 339 users  
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Kiki, a poor young woman who sells newspapers on the street corners of Paris, is able to land a job singing and dancing at a nearby theater. While she is there, she invites herself into the... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Kiki
...
Victor Renal
Gertrude Astor ...
Paulette Mascar
Marc McDermott ...
Baron Rapp
George K. Arthur ...
Adolphe
William Orlamond ...
Brule
Erwin Connelly ...
Joly
...
Pierre
Mack Swain ...
Pastryman
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Storyline

Kiki, a poor young woman who sells newspapers on the street corners of Paris, is able to land a job singing and dancing at a nearby theater. While she is there, she invites herself into the life of the revue's manager, with whom she has fallen in love. Written by page8701

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Comedy

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Release Date:

4 April 1926 (USA)  »

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| (Kino Print)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Connections

Remade as Kiki (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A delightful and refreshing silent comedy
24 June 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a delightful and very funny film starring Norma Talmadge, possibly at her best. She was a natural and vivacious comedienne, although she often played serious roles. As I pointed out in my review of THE SOCIAL SECRETARY (1916), she was a fine actress, and she played two roles instead of only one in THE FORBIDDEN CITY (1918, see my review). Immediately after this film, she switched tempo entirely and played the tragic Marguerite Gautier in the silent version of Dumas's CAMILLE, a role to be made famous later in the sound version with Greta Garbo. I wonder whether Talmadge's performance here as Kiki may have been inspired by the many performances of Clara Bow, who had made 32 films by this time. If so, the inspiration worked, and the Bow was successfully tied in a double knot just this once. Ronald Colman is superb and very much 'the Ronald Colman we know' in this film, despite not being able to hear his mellifluous voice. It needs to be stressed that this is not a film about the famous Kiki de Montparnasse of that era, even though it is set in Paris and this Kiki is, like the real Kiki, a lively scamp who came from total poverty as a waif. The film is based on the successful play KIKI, which did well on both Broadway and in London, by André Picard. Picard probably decided to call attention to his play by calling his character Kiki, knowing that it would arouse curiosity because of the notoriety of the real Kiki, and this worked. The film was remade in sound in 1931 with Mary Pickford in the lead, and she 'bombed', so they say, though I have never seen that version. It was remade again twice in 1932, in both cases with Anny Ondra in the lead, with two different directors, one filming in French and the other filming in German, but these films seem to be lost, and in any case there are no IMDb reviews of them. So Picard's amusing play was filmed four times in six years, and in three languages. In this version, George K. Arthur is very amusing as Ronald Colman's valet and butler, Adolphe. This film was directed by Clarence Brown, who later made such famous films as NATIONAL VELVET with Elizabeth Taylor (1944) and several films with Greta Garbo including ANNA KARENINA (1935) and MARIE WALEWSKA (1937). Earlier than those, he made ANNA Christie with Garbo in 1930, the same year made the terrible ROMANCE with Garbo, from which he wisely had his name removed, and he also made INSPIRATION with Garbo in 1931. That was three Garbo films in a row over those two years. The film he made just before KIKI was THE EAGLE (1925) with Valentino and immediately after KIKI, he made the famous FLESH AND THE DEVIL with Garbo and John Gilbert, which was when they began their famous love affair. Brown was one of the Hollywood Greats. It is thus not at all surprising that this film is lively, and often wonderfully funny. It was a First National Picture and has been restored from an old print, the negative obviously having been lost. This is a silent classic to be treasured.


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