In 18th-Century Russia, the Czar, Paul, is surrounded by murderous plots and trusts only Count Pahlen. Pahlen wishes to protect his friend, the mad king, but because of the horror of the ... See full summary »
Chick Williams, a prohibition gangster, rejoins his mob soon after being released from prison. When a policeman is murdered during a robbery, he falls under suspicion. The gangster took ... See full summary »
Lally is a rich girl whose father writes books and plays Polo. After 23 years of marriage, he decides to divorce his wife, and marry Mrs. Chevers. This sours Lally on all men, while on ... See full summary »
Elyot and Sibyl are being married in a big church ceremony. Amanda and Victor are being married by a French Justice of the Peace. Both couples go to a hotel on the same day and are put in ... See full summary »
Hildy Johnson, newspaper reporter, is engaged to Peggy Grant and planning to move to New York for a higher paying advertising job. The court press room is full of lame reporters who invent ... See full summary »
Conrad Nagel, representing the Hollywood movie community, and Jack Benny, representing the Broadway stage community, act as the interlocutors of a musical comedy revue. A plethora of chorus boys and girls are featured front and center in some of the song and dance numbers, and provide back-up to some other acts. But the revue primarily is a vehicle to highlight a cavalcade of Hollywood movie and Broadway stage stars. One early running gag has both Nagel and Benny playing straight man to Cliff Edwards, who just wants a nice introduction to his act. Edwards would return later to be featured along with the Brox Sisters in one of the highlights of the second act, a production number around the song "Singin' in Rain", complete with rain soaked stage. A reprise of the song with the entire cast acts as the revue's finale. Written by
During the "Singin' in the Rain" production number, Buster Keaton is shown carrying a small package in his left hand. This visual gag is a reference to Uneeda Biscuits, then a popular product made by Nabisco. The Uneeda Biscuit trademark showed a small boy wearing a yellow rain slicker and hat (similar to the outfits that the cast is wearing in this number) and walking home in the rain with a package of Uneeda Biscuits under his arm. See more »
After Cliff Edwards' opening number, one of the chorus girls in the background is chatting away with the girl next to her, when a sudden cut appears, and the same girl is now stone still (apparently the director told her in between to stop talking, and pay attention). See more »
Jack Benny, Himself - Emcee:
Now, I believe that most of you are unfamiliar with the adagio. I know I am. And so are the dancers. And if "adagio" means what I think it does, imagine my embarrassment. Incidentally, this is the 1929 Adagio with the standard gearshift. On with the dance.
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Finally got around to seeing this on its recent outing on TCM, and despite the drawbacks - yes, it is slow-paced, yes, it is dated - there is a certain charm to it that makes it very enjoyable. I particularly liked the novelty acts and comedy stuff - Bessie Love, Marie Dressler, Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton's Egyptian lady. And the Gilbert/Shearer Romeo and Juliet section is worth sitting through the rest for anyway (despite its washed out colour, which oddly looked better in the little snippet showed in When The Lion Roars). I can't say I was disappointed with any of it - you get mind-boggling acrobats, you get weedy voiced Marion Davies, you get Jack Benny playing his violin and Conrad Nagel singing pretty well, and Charles King singing that hideous song about mothers, and Ukelele Ike, well, playing a ukelele, and Joan Crawford's ungainly dancing ... it's just a real treat, and nice to see from a technical pov that the sound isn't bad at all and despite its advanced age it is still watchable. A respectable 7 out of 10 I think.
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