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 »
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 »
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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
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 »
By yonder blessed moon, I swear. Which tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops...
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This film will not get a good reception from most modern audiences, and certainly much of the film shows its seventy plus years, but this is a delight for some of us who see the '20s as a golden age, and this movie as a small window into it. It is also a humble reminder that in seventy-five years or so, what we consider entertainment will hold little or no interest to mass audiences.
If you are familiar at all with who the people are (Jack Benny, Joan Crawford, Cliff Edwards, Buster Keaton, etc.), the film is worth seeing. All of these people were one of a kind, not to be replicated by big name performers of today (great stars in their own right, but sorry, folks, they just don't have the class!). Just to see Joan Crawford as a young and beautiful woman is worth watching the film!
Technically, of course, the movie is what it says it is--a revue--intended to show audiences that their favorite silent stars can function in the new medium of sound. That purpose fulfilled (more or less), the film now might seem to have no point. The passage of time and the loss of context have made some of the humor corny (a term, by the way, from that period). The editing is clumsy (we have learned from their mistakes), but the personages themselves, and some of the song and dance, are better than anything we have today, and could not be duplicated.
I'd rather watch this than anything on the screen now.
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