Angela and Bob Brooks are an upper class couple. Unfortunately, Bob is an unfaithful husband. But Angela has a plan to win back her husband's affections. An elaborate masquerade ball is to ... See full summary »
Angela and Bob Brooks are an upper class couple. Unfortunately, Bob is an unfaithful husband. But Angela has a plan to win back her husband's affections. An elaborate masquerade ball is to be held aboard a magnificent dirigible. Angela will attend and disguise herself as a mysterious devil woman. Hidden behind her mask, and wrapped in an alluring gown, Angela as the devil woman will to try to seduce her unknowing husband and teach him a lesson. Written by
Thomas McWilliams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I found Madam Satan a rather strange hybrid of melodrama and musical, with elements of sex farce thrown in for good measure. It is divided into two distinct halves: the first takes place at the home of Bob and Angela, and at Trixie's flat. Then, it's aboard a moored Zeppelin for the second half for the party and the bulk of the musical numbers. A few witty ripostes here and there, some occasionally charming musical numbers, but overall a rather tepid affair. I just don't think Reginald Denny and Kay Johnson have the onscreen charisma to do this story justice. Roland Young is always amusing with his befuddled manner, in a sort of warm up to his Topper movies, but with Denny and Johnson to play against, he becomes the most interesting character by default.
But the film is interesting in its moralizing about straying husbands and a wife's duty to spice up the marriage, considering DeMille's own unsatisfactory marriage and philandering ways. Setting the second half aboard a Zeppelin with its sinking ship analogies probably seemed very modern at the time, and it is interesting to note that even six years before the Hindenburg disaster, a Hollywood movie exploits the inherent danger to such a mode of transportation. Perhaps with a really sparkling script by a master screenwriter such as Robert Riskin, and more luminous leads, this could have been a major delight instead of a trifle.
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