Mary Barrett is an aspiring Opera singer who is taken under the wings of a famous operatic maestro, Guilio Monterverdi. After spending endless working hours together and arguing, their ... See full summary »
Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a "show biz" ... See full summary »
Leo Gogarty marries Margaud Morgan after a whirlwind romance just before shipping out to war. When he returns he is surprised to discover not only that his bride is not what she led him to ... See full summary »
Gregory La Cava
Nekhlyudov, a Russian nobleman serving on a jury, discovers that the young girl on trial, Katusha, is someone he once seduced and abandoned and that he himself bears responsibility for ... See full summary »
The story of the rise of the Rothschild financial empire founded by Mayer Rothschild and continued by his five sons. From humble beginnings the business grows and helps to finance the war ... See full summary »
Alfred L. Werker,
Promoter Smoothe King helps a pair of phonies con their way into a movie company. As Wanda heads toward stardom, she turns more and more from King toward the matinée idol. King must decide between his plans and her happiness.
Small town girl meets and falls for a playboy type on a train to New York. For him, the fling is over when they arrive, but she continues to carry a torch. She meets and marries his brother... See full summary »
Gregory La Cava
The play, "The Firebrand," opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 15 October 1924 and closed in May 1925 after 261 performances. The opening night cast included Nana Bryant as the Duchess, Frank Morgan as Allessandro (same role as in the movie), Edward G. Robinson as Ottaviano and Joseph Schildkraut as Cellini. See more »
Constance Bennett was born to play a Medici. Her combination of hauteur and ooh-la-la makes this role a perfect fit. Frank Morgan, as her dithering husband, is amusing but less plausible.
Fredric March, as the title character, is good. He was always good. Possibly not the heartthrob he needs to be, he is nevertheless both cocky and handsome. Fay Wray is excellent as a commoner whose tastes are too prosaic for the dastardly lover Cellini. She looks beautiful (as does Bennett.) This is certainly atypical Gregory La Cava. It is probably not very accurate historically. But as costume pieces go, it's very compelling. A few years later, another studio made one that is more famous. That was "Marie Antoinette." It was better researched and is still somewhat well known. But it is really dull.
The costumes here are gorgeous. Now and then the music is appropriate to the time. A theme that seems distinctly 19th Century Romantic runs through, though.
The supporting cast is up to the task. It's hard to imagine what people sitting down in a theater in 1934 made of this. Bennett was still a big star so maybe they were happy to see her. It's an oddity, no doubt about it. But it's very good.
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