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A French-Canadian girl is a champion bronc rider and is also a nightclub singer. An ambitious young man sees her act one night and is struck by her talent, realizing that she is good enough to become a Broadway star. He convinces her to accompany him to New York, where she indeed does become a Broadway star. However, the young man finds himself being squeezed out by greedy Broadway producers who see the talented young girl as their own personal gold mine. Written by
When originally released, the first reel, which runs approximately seven minutes, including the title credits, was in 2-strip Magnacolor; reviewers at the time commented on the poor quality of the color, registration problems, and lack of focus; in surviving prints, this sequence is in black and white, with a replaced title card that includes a 1951 copyright statement. See more »
The thirties was where different types of films and approaches to film-making elbowed each other. Some survived and others are buried as fossils in a sort of Burgess shale.
If you want to understand what movies are, you need to see what it is not. And few things are as helpful as these fossils of the extinct.
This is one of the strangest assemblies. The seams don't match at all.
The story is about the random, offhand way which a rural gal is made a headliner. That actually happened with this actress so far as her career. But it characterizes the movie too, its capricious assembly.
It is superficially similar to hundreds of movies from this period: a story about a stage star so that we have an excuse to see a stage show. Movies were right at the cusp at this time between the traditions of the old stage and what we know today as movies.
But as I say, the splicing is so rough it startles.
It begins with genuine footage of a festival in Calgary, mostly featuring Native Americans. This is quite literally spliced. It is a silent movie and the placards are retained. Our heroine is from Calgary, it seems, simply so they could use this interesting footage. Otherwise, the Calgary connection makes no sense as the girl is French. While in Calgary, we see she is a rodeo star.
Plucky, you see.
She then travels to Broadway and is an instant hit. There is a love/exploitation story of the ordinary kind.
Here's the amazing thing. In addition to evolving what movies are, we see some evolution of what beautiful women are.
This "girl's" charms are her pluck, her batty eyes and her French accent which here is tied to an endearing whiftiness. That's also what endears her to the audiences we see, the men in which swoon. She does several sexy dances in skimpy outfits with open abandon.
But her sexy glances look absolutely stupid. They would be are the stuff of comedy today.
Her jouncy sexy dance and her feigned dumbness and exaggerated accent are similar stuff.
But if you wander into this, you will likely notice her figure first. She has a blocky waist, small bust and huge, huge thighs. Yet she puts on the skimpy costumes and stands in front of dozens of woman with features that have since become mandatory.
If this were today, it would be a bold comment about the shallowness of sex. For the time it was an odd splice of a performer into a sexy role as a bad splice.
And an obvious, cheap experiment in what works.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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