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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 424 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 15 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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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Gabbo
...
Mary
Donald Douglas ...
Frank
Marjorie Kane ...
Babe (as Margie 'Babe' Kane)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John F. Hamilton ...
Neighbour
Harry Ross ...
Performer
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:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. 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

Featured in Fractured Flickers: Episode #1.19 (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Laughing
(uncredited)
Written by King Zany and Donald McNamee
Performed by Otto the dummy, with Erich von Stroheim
Also performed at the restaurant
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Betty Compson Sings
11 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Bizarre in the extreme but a highly entertaining film about a mad ventriloquist and the woman who loves him.

Erich von Stroheim makes his talkie debut as the spooky/mad ventriloquist who often speaks through his dummy (Otto) and eventually goes totally mad. Betty Compson plays his harried assistant who is finally driven away through his cruelty and madness. But they meet up again 2 years later when von Stroheim has become a star.

We get several scenes about the masochistic relationship between the stars played out against the background of a big New York revue. There are several terrific 20s songs in this films and one unforgettable production number with Compson and Donald Douglas as a fly and spider and perched on a giant web.

The film also boasts the zippy Marjorie Kane who intros "That New Step." Von Stroheim is good and has a surprisingly light accent, but Compson steals the show as the pathetic assistant who can't understand him. She also gets to sing "I'm in Love with You" and adds one more talent to her resume of skills. Compson was also a concert violinist (see INSIDE THE LINES).

Compson and von Stroheim are excellent and the whole production becomes more and more surreal as it goes on. Certainly worth a look even if one number is missing (the "Ga Ga Bird") as are the Technicolor sequences. The whole film is black and white. The number "Every Now and Then" is tops.

Compson was one of the busiest actresses in Hollyword during the late 20s and early 30s.... she's a gem.


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