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The Great Gabbo (1929)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Musical, Romance  |  12 September 1929 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 446 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)

The Great Gabbo (1929) on IMDb 6.3/10

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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:

1.20 : 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

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

Soundtracks

Icky (Lollipop Song)
(uncredited)
Written by King Zany and Donald McNamee
Performed by Otto the dummy, with Erich von Stroheim
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Great Erich Von Stroheim!

This film about a ventriloquist who lives a self-imposed life of lonliness because of his personality is absorbing, different, and dated. Shortly produced after The Jazz Singer(1927), the film is an early talkie with all the characteristics of an early talkie. It has somewhat stilted stages, little camera movement, and most annoying, a bunch of Busby Berkley type musical numbers that have little to do with the plot. All that notwithstanding, the lead role of Gabbo, a man who lives to be successful no matter what it takes, who is willing to forsake personal happiness to achieve, who runs the scope of emotions in minutes, is played with gusto by that wonderful actor(and even greater director) Erich Von Stroheim. Von Stroheim uses all his European charm(and decadence) as the man who shares life and lives with and through his dummy Otto. There are no supernatural aspects about the relationship with Gabbo and Otto. The movie is in no way a horror picture(although very often advertised as such). It really is a story of the problems a man has exhibiting his emotions, living with others, and living with himself. Some of the scenes are very well-done, including the last shot as we see Gabbo avoid a ladder. The rest of the cast is effective with Betty Compson as a love interest doing a fine job, and Donald Douglas as a lead singer/romantic figure being absolutely absurd. If for no other reason, see the film to see Von Stroheim in action. There was no one like him.


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