A woman is relieved to learn she is not dying of radium poisoning as earlier assumed, but when she meets a reporter looking for a story about a young girl braving terminal illness, she feigns sickness again for her own profit.
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Dizzy society matron Emily Kilbourne has a habit of hiring ex-cons and hobos as servants. Her latest find is a handsome "tramp" who shows up at her doorstep and soon ends up in a ... See full summary »
Norman Z. McLeod
In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from ... See full summary »
Francis L. Sullivan
In Panama, notorious nightclub hostess Carlotta kills a man in self-defense and is arrested for murder. Defending her at her trial is Dick Grady, a lawyer who has wasted his talent on ... See full summary »
The work of a progressive female psychiatrist and her colleague at a mental hospital is threatened by the arrival of a conservative new supervisor, who disapproves of both her methods and the fact that she is a woman in a "man's field."
Gregory La Cava
In this fictionalized biography, young Pancho Villa takes to the hills after killing an overseer in revenge for his father's death. In 1910, he befriends American reporter Johnny Sykes. ... See full summary »
The play, "The Firebrand of Florence," 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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