Although his murdered friend was by all accounts a scoundrel a true "bounder" Edward Wales is determined to trap his killer by staging a seance using a famous medium. Many of the 13 seance ... See full summary »
Newspaperman Bill Bradford becomes a special agent for the tax service trying to end the career of racketeer Alexander Carston. Julie Gardner is Carston's bookkeeper. Bradford enters ... See full summary »
Gunner and Bucker are pals who work as riveters. Whenever Bucker gets the urge to marry, which is often, Gunner will hit on his girl to see if she is true or not. So far, Gunner has not ... See full summary »
Cheri-Bibi is an escape artist wrongly imprisoned for murdering the wealthy father of his admirer Cecile. The real murderer is Cecile's fiancé, so how will Bibi escape his death sentence and win back Cecile?
In a none-too-prestigious side show in Budapest, a performer named Cock Robin has a jealous lover who plays Salome in a decapitation-illusion act. He also has a vicious rival in a quack medicine show entrepreneur who plots to rig the act so to do in Robin. Written by
Although he was heading for a colossal fall from grace (thanks to both the advent of sound and the animosity of his boss, Louis B. Mayer), John Gilbert was riding high in 1927. His first release for the year, The Show, was a surprising success, despite its nightmarish carnival setting that echoes both Liliom and Nightmare Alley. Although Gilbert's part is totally unsympathetic, he handles it well, and easily manages to steal the film from his co-stars, Renée Adorée (who is most unflatteringly photographed and costumed), and Lionel Barrymore (who gives his heavy plenty of presence and charisma even though the role is disappointingly small). Mind you, Edward Connelly, who was so effective as Cardinal Richelieu in Gilbert's Bardelys the Magnificent (1926), does his hammy best to upstage the stars here and almost succeeds. But thanks to stacks of indulgent close-ups, John Gilbert wins the acting stakes all right. Nonetheless he is over-shadowed by cult director Tod Browning's many atmospherically noirish trappings and effects, including a staged John-the-Baptist beheading and a line-up of fake freaks such as a spider woman (Edna Tichenor), a mermaid (Betty Boyd) and a half-lady (Zalla Zarana). John Arnold, who was placed in charge of M-G-M's camera department in 1929, has photographed the film in an appropriate, heavily noir style.
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