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 »
There is a big charity function at the house of Mrs. Cheyney and a lot of society is present. With her rich husband, deceased, rich old Lord Elton and playboy Lord Arthur Dilling are both ... See full summary »
Raymond Dabney returns to his family after trouble with the law. He convinces the sheriff to give him a job watching the house and furniture of widow Crystal Wetherby without knowing she is... See full summary »
The refined Lady Isabel Carlisle, after leaving her family and enduring nearly a decade of hardships, learns that her son has fallen ill. Despite being nearly blinded as the result of an explosion, she returns home to see her son again.
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 singing of "Singin' in the Rain" Buster Keaton is seen, but is not singing because he was still a silent star. 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 - Master of Ceremonies:
The, uh, little number you just heard called "Singin' in the Rain" is an optimistic song and was, of course, written by an optimist. In fact, all of the lyrics like "There's a rainbow 'round my shoulder" and "Let a smile be your umbrella" and so forth were all written by this same man who finally became so discouraged that he killed himself. Hm.
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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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