During World War I, a French girl is romanced by an American doughboy even though she is promised to a French soldier who is fighting at the front. She falls in love with the Yank however ... See full summary »
Peg and her father live a simple life in an Irish fishing village. One day Sir Gerald arrives at the village to tell Pat that Peg is heir to estate of her grandfather, who hated Pat. The ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
J. Farrell MacDonald
Marianne falls in love with con man Valentine who uses their relation to get her father's endorsement on a money-raising scheme. He runs off with the money and Marianne, later dumping her. ... See full summary »
During World War I, a French girl is romanced by an American doughboy even though she is promised to a French soldier who is fighting at the front. She falls in love with the Yank however out of her commitment to her French soldier she stays with him especially since he returns from the war blind. Do circumstances change so she can follow him to "Second Forty Street" in New York? Musical numbers include "Just You, Just Me." Written by
Ed Lorusso, A.Nonymous
Great for a 1929 musical--but it doesn't age especially well
MARIANNE is a film about a French lady whose fiancé has gone off to fight in WWI. Shortly after you see them get engaged, the war begins and he has already been gone for four over years when the bulk of the movie takes place. The war has just ended but American soldiers are still in France awaiting transport home. In the meantime, one company is stationed near Marianne's farmhouse and so they spend most of the movie trying to score with this lovely French girl, but she is too chaste and gives each one the brush off--that is until late in the film she falls for one of them. But what to do? She's engaged to a Frenchman and also loves an American--and how all this is resolved is something you'll just need to see for yourself.
I don't know if MARIANNE was originally a musical play, but I assume it was based on the look and style of the film. Any sound movie made in 1929 suffers when seen today due to poor sound--this is just a fact. Since the use of sound was still pretty new, these films tended to have lots of problem with fluctuating sound and actors were forced to stand close together and movie very little so they could be properly recorded--making the films look very stilted and this was especially a problem with musicals. Despite this, for 1929, MARIANNE was actually much better than most, as the sound, though poor, is definitely better than most of its contemporaries. But because the actors couldn't move around much, it still did have a rather stiff and claustrophobic feel. But again, you can't blame this film for this and you really can't compare MARIANNE to musicals made just a few years later. If I were reviewing it in 1929, I might be so bold as to give the movie a 9--it WAS very good and despite some negative comments about Marion Davies' performance, I thought she was just lovely and carried off the French accent reasonably well.
Now because the film is so archaic and the songs were just okay, by today's standards a more appropriate score might be a 5 or 6. It is just a time-passer because of the technical limitations. Because of this, I'm splitting the difference and giving it a 7--recognizing it was great for its day but also that compared to later musicals it's not especially great. In many ways, it's more a film for film historians and true cinephiles.
By the way, it sure would have helped had this film been closed captioned. My hearing isn't especially great, but most people would benefit from this if it were available due to the archaic sound equipment.
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