An unimpressive but well intending man is given the chance to marry a popular actress, of whom he has been a hopeless fan. But what he doesn't realize is that he is being used to make the actress' old flame jealous.
Racketeer Frank Rocci is smitten with Joan Whelan, a dancer at Texas Guinan's famous Broadway night spot. He uses his influence to help her get a starring role in the show, hoping that it ... See full summary »
Molly and Bee, sweet young 'working girls,' live in a cheap room over a New York grocery store. Molly's idol, wealthy Jack Cromwell, lives in a Long Island mansion but is markedly less ... See full summary »
Three working girls in Budapest pool their resources to get a better apartment and impress their dates. One dates a nobleman and, learning of her rejection by him, considers poison. Another... See full summary »
This musical biopic chronicles the vaudeville-to-Broadway story of 1920s' star Marilyn Miller (June Haver). From her start on the boards in Findlay, Ohio, Marilyn sings and dances her way ... See full summary »
Bill Whipple is a happy-go-lucky mechanic for MacDonald who thinks that he is the worlds greatest driver and lover. Mac has treated Bill like a son since he took him in. One day at the ... See full summary »
Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.
Nurse Anne Lee blames herself for a fatal mistake of her sister Lucy, who also is a nurse. Anne loses her job, and gets a new one at a poorly equipped country hospital. There she falls in ... See full summary »
A musical revue that basically has Paramount stars and contract-players doing things some had never done on screen, and wouldn't again; such as Ruth Chatteron , in a French-café setting ... See full summary »
Napoleon Bonaparte has just abdicated the throne of France and Italy and has been banished to Elba, in the process restoring Louis XVIII to the throne. In the battle between the Bonapartists and the Royalists, Louis has ordered the execution of Napoleon's loyal soldiers, including Armand de Treville. However, Armand is able to escape just before he is to be executed. He is eventually able to take refuge in the south of France at the chateau of his friend, the Countess Louise, who, despite being a Royalist, is Armand's friend first and foremost. He is to be incognito working as one of her servants. Although Louise is in love with Armand, he in turn sees her more as a sister. En route to Louise's, Armand meets another Royalist, Leonie de Beaufort, with who, in their short encounter, he falls in love, although she would not even recognize him if she saw him again if only because of his face being hidden in the darkness during their encounter. Unknown to Armand, Leonie and Louise are ... Written by
In what must have been the easiest of all the transitions made by silent stars into talkies, Ramon Novarro, still at the height of his fame,talent and beauty, leaps into this glossy high budget MGM classic. It's not a great film, but thanks to Sidney Franklin's excellent direction, the picture is a lot less static than most early talkies. There are some good action sequences - including some excellent tracking shots of horse riding - and the camera and the actors move a lot more than was usual.
It's a period piece - set in Napoleon's France - and Cedric Gibbons usual attention to design detail and Adrian's great costumes make it a joy to watch. The supporting cast is so-so - Dorothy Jordan is cute if unspectacular as the heroine and Marion Harris is quite bad as Louise, and there are too many songs, not to mention a completely gratuitous technicolor dance sequence that seems to have been added as an afterthought (chorus girls dressed as Napoleon and Josephine? with a reflective pool and cascading fountains - was Busby Berkeley in on this?). As usual in early talkies there is also too many sound effects and not enough background music, and a couple of very static chat scenes.
But at its heart the film has Ramon Novarro - charming, energetic, seductive, full of life. The early sequence where he escapes from a firing squad is hilarious. He also sings beautifully. What a shame MGM did not give him more vehicles of this quality (see my review of "In Gay Madrid"). In summary it works well as comedy, a little less well as drama, and least well as musical - but overall a quality fun vehicle for Ramon.
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