Tony Malatini, a puppeteer, at Paris' Theatre des Marionettes notices that his audience consists of only 7 people. He visits his successful competitor on the corner to see why people are ...
See full summary »
Tony Malatini, a puppeteer, at Paris' Theatre des Marionettes notices that his audience consists of only 7 people. He visits his successful competitor on the corner to see why people are drawn to it. After seeing Suzanne, the competitors popular dancer, Tony is mesmerized by her. He goes backstage to see her and asks her if he can make a puppet of her to use in his show. Over-hearing this, the Baron, Suzanne's controlling manager, castigates Suzanne threatening to set her free. Suzanne terrified of being on her own, begs the Baron to marry her and not to leave her. Tony comes during one of Suzanne's performances and begs her not to marry the Baron. Upset, Suzanne falls into the orchestra pit and injures herself to the extent that she won't dance again. Baron leaves Suzanne, but Tony with a doctor's help puts her through a vigorous exercise program. Tony also shows her how to be a puppeteer. Tony confesses to Suzanne that his true friends are his puppets. He picks up the puppet of ... Written by
After he lost out in a power struggle at Paramount, Jesse Lasky went to Fox, where he produced some innovative pictures that were not particularly successful at the box office. This is one of them.
Most of what is interesting about this movie is the opportunity to see the handiwork of a couple of marionette companies of the era. Otherwise, there is one clear case of miscasting (Gene Raymond is supposed to be the neurotic scion of five generations of puppeteers who has a better relationship with his puppets than human when he looks and acts like a college football star) and some more subtle mistakes in acting and directing: Lilian Harvey is directed in the opening scenes as so withdrawn that I thought she might be playing an idiot, but as she gains in self control and knowledge, she becomes audible. Leslie Banks is quite amusing in a brief foray into the colonies and Georgia Caine handles the confidante-out-for-herself role very well.
Although this is a visually striking film, there are script problems. There is an interesting subtext about the relationship of identity and control as various people insist that they are Suzanne, the Lilian Harvey character, before the matter is sorted out. Had the film makers had a little more confidence in their audience, this might have turned into a better movie.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?