Musical comedy antics in an art deco bakery (motto: "Glorifying the American Doughnut") with Eddie Cantor as an assistant to a phoney psychic, who is mistaken for an efficiency expert and ... See full summary »
A. Edward Sutherland
John has lead a solitary life for thirty years since the death of Moonyeen Clare. But now Owens, a close friend, insists that he care for his niece, Kathleen, orphaned when her parents were... See full summary »
A Vienna based acting couple make magic when they perform together on stage. Unknown to the theater going public and despite being married for only six months, that magic seems no longer to... See full summary »
Kitty Vane, Alan Trent, and Gerald Shannon have been inseparable friends since childhood. Kitty has always known she would marry one of them, but has waited until the beginning of World War... See full summary »
It's 1929. The studio gave the cinema its voice gave offered the audiences a chance to see their favorite actors and actresses from the silent screen era to see and for the first time can ... See full summary »
The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife. By diligence and frugality the two manage to enlarge their property. But ... See full summary »
Carl Bellairs and Lindsey Lane, his daughter, meet many years after he deserted her and her mother. They don't much like each other, but wind up working in the same nightclub. Bellairs ... See full summary »
Ernest B. Schoedsack
In 1923, Gregory Vance, a widower with two children, is a former scholar who has turned from book-to-bottle. He works, slightly, as a night-watchman and his children, who know him for what ... See full summary »
When the Germans invade Norway their Commandant and the town Mayor confront each other, attempting to maintain civility as far as possible. When the army tries to orgnanize townspeople to ... See full summary »
Lee J. Cobb
As her fifth wedding anniversary approaches, a woman realizes that she is fed up with always coming in second to her husband's advertising business. Just at the moment when she is trying to... See full summary »
As originally cast, the film was to have starred not only John but Lionel Barrymore, the latter portraying the female protagonist's psychoanalyst/husband, the role that ultimately went to Frank Morgan, when, for whatever reasons, MGM's Plan B, Roland Young (as reported by Eileen Percy in the Jan 20, 1933 issue of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), fell through. See more »
I finally managed to acquire a copy of this almost forgotten film, chiefly because of my interest in John Barrymore. The film has never been shown on TV in Europe and is unavailable on video or DVD, so it was a delightful surprise to discover how very good it is.
1933 was perhaps John Barrymore's best year in films, just before the slide into alcoholism reduced him to infrequent supporting roles. As well as Reunion in Vienna, he made Topaze (another delightful film) Counsellor at Law (perhaps his greatest screen performance) and Dinner at 8 (a close second).
If you want proof of Barrymore's sheer star quality and presence, take a look at Reunion in Vienna. He dominates the screen in every scene he is in, and when he is on screen, it is difficult to look at anyone else. His wonderfully mellifluous voice is particularly well recorded in this film and his performance is so full of delightful details, and many ad lib physical touches, that one can see how superb he must have been on stage.
Equally surprising here is the subtle performance by Frank Morgan before his familiar bumbling, stammering persona took over almost every performance he gave at MGM. He was a much better actor than remembered today.
The supporting cast is a delight, although not populated by the many émigrés that would shortly arrive from Nazi Europe and become a regular part of Hollywood's scene. Compare this film with THE GREAT WALTZ (1938) to see what I mean.
As a result, the Hapsburg aristocrats are mostly played by Americans (the exception being Eduardo Cianelli who is genuinely touching, giving an excellent portrayal of a devoted servant to his old master).
The music score is credited to William Axt, even though it is really a pot-pourri of themes by Johann Strauss. The exception is a main theme which is a direct steal from Romberg's NEW MOON, then a fairly new work and filmed 2 years before by MGM with Grace Moore and Lawrence Tibbett. Possibly Dr Axt decided to borrow the waltz "One Kiss" and vary it slightly for this film.
As others point out here, the art direction is beautiful throughout and Ms Wynyard never looked more radiant.
In all, a delightful and superbly acted film that should be on DVD. Why isn't it? The print I have looks as if it has never left the vault in 80 years.
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