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The Great Gabbo (1929)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Musical, Romance  |  12 September 1929 (USA)
6.3
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 465 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 16 critic

An insanely, egocentric ventriloquist, even though he is possessed by his wooden dummy, is in love with a dancer who is in love with another. The dummy gives advice to the ventriloquist.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (continuity), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Great Gabbo (1929)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Gabbo
...
Mary
Donald Douglas ...
Frank
Marjorie Kane ...
Babe (as Margie 'Babe' Kane)
Edit

Storyline

For the ventriloquist Gabbo his wooden dummy Otto is the only means of expression. When he starts relying more and more on Otto, he starts going mad. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 September 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der große Gabbo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

| (Multicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The dummy Otto was a hand carved basswood Frank Marshall figure. The same man who designed Edgar Bergen's famous characters Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mary: Oh, I see a move. Look - eight on the nine, and then your King comes up, and that plays a Queen.
Gabbo: Will you leave these cards alone? You think you can show me something?
See more »

Connections

Edited into The Girl from Calgary (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Web of Love
(uncredited)
Written by Lynn Cowan and Paul Titsworth
Performed by Betty Compson and Donald Douglas
Also sung in the finale, and played frequently in the background
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I feel sorry for Gabbo- he is being left behind.
2 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In order to properly understand this film you have to take yourself back to 1928-1929. You had only 20% of the theater's ready for sound performance. The rest of the film viewing arenas were still 'silent only' films. So in late 28 and early 29 films were filmed in sound and also in silent. This film was written for silent but was transformed to sound as the technology progressed in the late 20's.

So they made a film that was written for the silent era but transformed into the sound era. No one had written the rules of sound performances which lead for many awkward moments.

So without an underline music score or the thought of continuing dialog, the film was made. It is a seam between silent and sound. It is a learning tool for the next progression step.

An aging ventriloquist is trying to put a stop to history. He commanded money and respect in his time but cannot see that times are passing him by like a train. He wants to hold on to the applause and the bright lights of his youth. He wants time to stand still- a time where he commanded respect. But we all know that it is impossible.

The obvious love story is a front for more active and sinister activity. The puppet is just a metaphor. The real story is that times are a changing and people are going to be left behind. So it is for the Great Gabbo.

Sound is coming and there are going to be actors that cannot cope with the new form of communication. Such as Gabbo when he finds out that people prefer sound (musical) instead of vaudeville. It is a change of the seasons.

This is what I get from this film. Times are changing and some are going to be left behind. The Great Gabbo, even in 1929, seems old. A sad ending to a good movie.


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