A young woman is on trial for murder. In flashback, we learn of her struggles to overcome poverty as a teenager -- a mistaken arrest and prison term for shoplifting and lack of employment ... See full summary »
Ann Williams, secretary to eccentric drama critic Frederick Skeates, is persuaded to alter a ruinous review of Shakespearean actor Edmund Davey by Davey's wife Barbara. Davey's 'Othello' ... See full summary »
While Old England is being ransacked by roving Danes in the 9th century, Alfred is planning to join the priesthood. But observing the rape of his land, he puts away his religious vows to ... See full summary »
Letty, a young woman who ended up pregnant, unmarried and on the streets at fifteen is bitter and determined that her child will not grow up to be taken advantage of. Letty teaches her ... See full summary »
When the owner of the New York Globe-Leader dies without making a will, the paper is inherited by his only living relative, an "old maid schoolteacher" from Nebraska. Martha Aldrich, along ... See full summary »
George B. Seitz
Edna May Oliver,
The events take place in a villa of a wealthy doctor on the occasion of the family wedding. The young couple agreed on their vows before the civil authorities but the girl backs out during ... See full summary »
Yates and Sarah Martin are barely getting by in a Colorado boom town grocery store. Sudden wealth leads to greater prosperity and political power. In Denver Yates buys a mansion and builds ... See full summary »
Alfred E. Green
Edward G. Robinson,
Dramatization of the controversial best-seller that posits an alternate version of the birth of Christianity. In this version, Jesus planned for His crucifixion by taking a drug that would ... See full summary »
In the mid-1700's the East India Company has power over commerce on the sub-continent, with the blessings of the British government. A clerk in the company, Robert Clive, is frustrated by ... 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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