During the last half of the 19th century writer Richard Darrell saves Don Carlos from two robbers, and is entrusted by Don Carlos to take a valuable necklace to Spain. Richard leaves his ... See full summary »
Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, is fettered on all sides. He's bored; his father, the emperor, is domineering; his politics are more liberal than his father's, but he knows his views carry... See full summary »
The bold Tira works as dancing beauty and lion tamer at a fair. Out of an urgent need of money, she agrees to a risky new number: she'll put her head into a lion's muzzle! With this ... See full summary »
Jack Thornton has trouble winning enough at cards for the stake he needs to get to the Alaska gold fields. His luck changes when he pays $250 for Buck, a sled dog that is part wolf to keep ... See full summary »
Romance and heartbreak walk hand-in-hand when Philip Chagal accidentally meets Helen Lawrence in a restaurant where she is a waitress. Unhappily married to a woman who suffers from mental ... See full summary »
Three sisters take their small inheritance and move from Kansas to California in search of rich husbands. To start with Pamela poses as a socialite and Moira and Elizabeth pretend to be her... See full summary »
The young Countess Wilma is forced to wed by midnight or lose her inheritance. Wilma impulsively chooses gypsy vagabond Latzi, offering him a huge sum of money if he'll consent. Swallowing his pride, Latzi agrees to the marriage, but soon Wilma falls in love with the young Lieutenant Von Tokay who is himself in love with Latzi's gypsy sweetheart Timka. Written by
Erik Charrell had an artistic and financial success with his lively and original CONGRESS DANCES and was imported into the United States. You can see some of the same impulses in this movie, particularly the scene in which the army attacks to restore order -- and the gypsies, led by Charles Boyer on the violin, counter-attack with music and swamp them.
The movie is full of good bits like that. Charles Boyer is great, Phillips Holmes -- he looks like a blonde Kirk Douglas to me -- is good, and the supporting cast, who are all old pros are good. I think, though, that Charrell was having trouble giving directions in English, so that leading lady, Loretta Young, is pretty erratic, even though she is luminously beautiful. And does every shot having to make use of a traveling camera? The result is a failure to produce a good German operetta in Hollywood. It winds up bloated and ill-balanced; the hit song from it was "It's Up to You to Do the Hot-Cha-Cha", for which Gus Kahn probably wrote the lyrics while drunk.
Fox was falling apart, between the lack of a strong front office and troughing ticket sales. Popular star, Will Rogers, would die in a plane crash, Janet Gaynor was struggling to find more adult, modern vehicles and no one seemed sure how to deal with the newly enforced production code. CARAVAN looks like it could have been saved -- cut here, shoot a new scene there, but there was no one to make the decision. Soon the studio would be forcibly merged with Zanuck's 20th Century production and changes would be made.
It wouldn't be soon enough for this movie or Charrell. This would be his last movie as a director, although he would wind up with a decent enough career as a writer. Too bad.
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