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Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher
Lucienne, typist and gorgeous bathing beauty, decides to enter the 'Miss Europe' pageant sponsored by the French newspaper she works for. She finds her jealous lover Andre violently disapproves of such events and tries to withdraw, but it's too late; she's even then being named Miss France. The night Andre planned to propose to her, she's being whisked off to the Miss Europe finals in Spain, where admirers swarm around her. Win or lose, what will the harvest be? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Louise Brooks' last starring role in a feature, and her only film made in France. It's the story of Lucienne, a high-spirited Parisian typist who leads a mundane life with her fiancé, André, and a number of friends. While André indeed loves Lucienne, he has conventional expectations for their future together. When the Miss Europa beauty contest comes to town, he warns her to "not even dream" of entering it. Lucienne ignores his advice, and from there on, she struggles for independence and happiness, but André is overcome with jealous rage...
I just watched "Prix de Beauté" in the sound version on the Kino Video DVD-release. The film was shot as a silent and Louise Brooks voice was badly dubbed by a French actress. The post-doctoring of this silent film into a talkie was badly done in the first place, and, on top of it, the transfer to the DVD is pretty shabby as well. Sometimes too light, then too dark, too fast, too slow. It's a mess. A mediocre film that might have worked as a silent but is no comparison to earlier films Louise Brooks made with G. W Pabst, "Pandora's Box" and "Diary of a lost Girl." I watched this for the obvious reason of Louise Brook's last starring role, but it's only worth it for Brooks-aficionados or completists. Watch the silent version or turn of the sound, and make the best of Louise Brooks' intoxicating presence. The five stars are hers.
Camera Obscura --- 5/10
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