6.5/10
90
10 user 2 critic

Call of the Flesh (1930)

Passed | | Musical | 16 August 1930 (USA)
From a poor working class background, Juan de Dios is a cantina performer in Seville, singing and dancing with his partner Lola. They have a contentious professional and personal ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(story), (dialogue)
Reviews

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Ramon Novarro, Dorothy Jordan, Marion Harris
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors: King Vidor, George W. Hill
Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth
Mr. Wu (1927)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When Mandarin Wu's unmarried daughter becomes pregnant by a young Englishman, he seeks vengeance.

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Lon Chaney, Louise Dresser, Renée Adorée
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A charming bailiff's assistant poses as a young woman's butler until she can pay her debts.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Charlotte Greenwood, Irene Purcell
Redemption (1930)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fedya wins Lisa away from her fiance, Victor Karenin. But after Fedya weds Lisa, he becomes infatuated with a gypsy girl, Masha. His duplicity leads to tragedy.

Directors: Fred Niblo, Lionel Barrymore
Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Conrad Nagel
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The story takes place in medieval France. Poet-rogue Francois Villon, sentenced to hang by King Louis XI for writing derogatory verses about him, is offered a temporary reprieve. His ... See full summary »

Directors: Ludwig Berger, Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Dennis King, Jeanette MacDonald, O.P. Heggie
Certificate: Passed Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A ruthless, crooked stockbroker is murdered at his luxurious country estate, and detective Philo Vance just happens to be there; he decides to find out who killed him.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: William Powell, William 'Stage' Boyd, Eugene Pallette
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Esteban
Nance O'Neil ...
Mother Superior
...
Lola
Mathilde Comont ...
La Rumbarita
Russell Hopton ...
Captain Enrique Vargas
Edit

Storyline

From a poor working class background, Juan de Dios is a cantina performer in Seville, singing and dancing with his partner Lola. They have a contentious professional and personal relationship, her jealous self who cannot tolerate his constant flirting. He really aspires to be a serious opera singer, he under the tutelage of Estaban. Once the greatest impresario in Spain himself, Estaban lost everything because of the same reckless behavior that Juan now exhibits, that behavior which Estaban is trying to quell in Juan. Estaban's plan is to get one of his old contacts in Madrid, an impresario, to manage Juan's career to get him serious singing gigs, leading to that fame and fortune Esteban once used to have. It's love at first sight when Juan meets Maria Consuelo Vargas. What he initially doesn't know is that their meeting was by no accident, as she, a postulant at St. Agustín convent who just escaped from that life, had been mesmerized by him and his singing every time she saw him as ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Singer of Seville  »

Box Office

Budget:

$464,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

| (2-strip Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

None of the Technicolor sequences, as described in the New York Times review in October 1930, including at least one aria (Vesti la Giubba) by Novarro, seem to have survived; they were missing from the 100 minute print telecast by TBS in 1988-1989 and by Turner Classic Movies in 1997 and 2014. See more »

Connections

Version of Le chanteur de Séville (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Lonely
(1930) (uncredited)
Words by Clifford Grey
Music by Ramon Novarro and Herbert Stothart
Copyright 1930 by Robbins Music Corporation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Ramon Novarro Behaves Like A Cad
11 April 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A brash cantina singer in Sevilla heeds the CALL OF THE FLESH when he romances a young postulant from a nearby convent.

Sometimes movie studios make most unwise decisions, resulting in ramifications that can be quite detrimental to the careers of even their biggest stars. CALL OF THE FLESH is a case in point. Good production values & fine performances can not save this film from its one fatal flaw: it is difficult to like, or even tolerate, the hero.

Ramon Novarro, usually quite the pleasant fellow, here is forced to play a repellent rogue who quickly irritates the audience with his cruel treatment of those who love him most. Oozing a smarmy charm, he alternately smirks & pouts his way through the plot, until his eventual - and much belated - regeneration. Novarro's undoubted acting abilities enable him to deliver a fine performance, but mischievousness mixed with too much meanness can result in viewer apathy.

This did not help his career. The fad for the Latin Lover was wearing mighty thin already and would soon be completely eclipsed by the All American Hero, and Novarro's sexual ambiguity was always a bit of a problem for the MGM front office. The advent of Sound, while finally revealing his strong singing voice, also exhibited his Mexican accent, making it difficult to cast him in traditional roles. The Studio simply couldn't come up with a definitive screen persona for him, and so Novarro was made into their ethnic chameleon, playing everything from Chinese to Arab to Navajo.

Novarro's costars come through very well. Dorothy Jordan is radiant as the innocent young woman who loves him with every fiber of her being; she delivers a heart touching, memorable performance. Flamboyant & hammy, Scottish actor Ernest Torrence is terrific as Novarro's friend & mentor - although one has to wonder just why he was willing to put up with so much nonsense from the little squirt. Equally adept at drama or comedy, Torrence's theatrical mannerisms and the contortions of his great homely face make him both entertaining to the audience and an enjoyable contrast to handsome Novarro. French actress Renée Adorée, in her final film, stirs up the flames in her role as Novarro's musical partner & lover. (Ill health would bring about the early deaths of both Torrence & Adorée in 1933 - he at 54 and she at 35. Today, these two fine performers are virtually forgotten.)

Mention should be made of Mathilde Comont, hilarious as a rotund little diva turned landlady.

Novarro is in good voice throughout, which is fortunate as the plot keeps him singing interminably.


8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Request for a copy of this film. Bruce-Karam
have film mostly because of Renee Adoree fbm72751
Discuss Call of the Flesh (1930) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?