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 »
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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
You have probably never seen a movie like "I Am Suzanne!" Read the summary and you will get a feel for it, and it will save me from trying to explain why this is such a rewarding, heartwarming film - and those are adjectives I seldom use. I just wonder where the idea came for this picture - 'original' is hardly the word to describe it.
I think it is basically a love story and would be rated 'G' today, as it would have great appeal to children; think "Hans Christian Andersen" (1953) but minus puppets, and that would approximate the depth of the plot. The principals are childlike, and behave like children would think adults behave. Bland 30's leading man Gene Raymond is the puppeteer who thinks his marionettes are almost real, and Lilian Harvey is an unhappy dancer. They fall in love, although she is a greater success than he; few come to see his puppet shows and she is a celebrity.
Special mention should be made of the Yale Puppeteers, the real stars of the piece. When they are on-camera they steal the show, as much as possible for dolls on strings. So good are the Puppeteers that the dolls come to life in the several different set pieces they are in. I always thought puppeteers just stood above the puppet stage, but here they have intricate walkways to follow the movements of the puppets. The whole novel effect of the picture is fascinating and might have been better with a replacement for Raymond. Also if Fox spent a few more dollars on the production.
This one is worth it if you can find it. It comes in one-strip color but my copy was slightly blurry. Find a good movie pirate and buy it.
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