In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family's ... See full summary »
Daniel L. Haynes,
Nina Mae McKinney,
This early example of the "backstage" musical genre tells the story of Kitty Darling, a fading burlesque star who tries to save her convent-educated daughter April from following in Mom's footsteps. Written by
The subway scene was filmed at Chambers Street on what is now the BMT Nassau Street line in lower Manhattan. Chambers Street was a terminus at the time this movie was made, and the train, consisting of a single Triplex unit, operated from the southern end of the station on the second track from the east side and stopped where the camera was situated. The platform used by the passengers in the movie is still in use today. See more »
When April comes backstage to see Kitty after returning home from the convent, the shot from outside the dressing room shows Kitty sitting at her mirror and then turning to see April in the doorway. In the next shot, from inside the dressing room, she once again is sitting at her mirror and once again turns to see April entering. See more »
For 1929 it's amazing, long takes, sincere acting, moving camera work and a timeless story but it's much more than that!
I first half-watched this film on DVD while I was surfing the internet, never thinking it would be that good. Wrong. The next night I watched it again, no distractions. Helen Morgan drew me in with her soulful acting, Mamoulian had the camera man sweep in and out to highlight certain scenes and it just kept pulling me in. I watch a lot of film, mostly early film and this drama ranks up there with the best Mother-Daughter tragedies in the STELLA DALLAS style. But it is an original that has only been poorly copied since. I recommend you give this film your time and you too will be touched and amazed at the power of a very early talky. Like two other great films from 1929, LOVE PARADE & COCONUTS prove, some early sounds films are great not only standing the test of time but they are great films for ALL TIME!
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