Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a "show biz" ... See full summary »
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,
Chivo, a singer who works in a movie theater providing live entertainment, is and apprehended by a music-loving Mexican bandit Braganza who wants to make Chivo part of his band. Braganza, who admires American gangsters, also kidnaps Jane and her rich boyfriend, Bill. to become more like the American movie gangsters he admires.
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 »
Both in the theater and in movies, Rouben Mamoulian seems to have been present at the birth of several revolutions (talkies, the integrated stage musical, the populist opera "Porgy and Bess"); why isn't he revered as, say, Welles or Ford? This early talkie boasts remarkable use of camera and sound, interesting location shooting (though nominally made at Parmount's Astoria Studios, there is plenty of footage of 1929 New York), a hokey but touching mother-love story, much pre-Code sexual frankness, and Helen Morgan's finest hour on film. Consider it a companion piece to "Gypsy," and all the grittier for being made during the actual years of the waning of burlesque; in both movies, the mother forces the daughter into a tawdry stage career, but here the outcome is strikingly different. A fascinating curio for all the cinematic techniques that Mamoulian invented or perfected, and a most affecting melodrama in its own right.
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