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The Firebird (1934)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Romance  |  3 November 1934 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 136 users  
Reviews: 9 user

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Title: The Firebird (1934)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Verree Teasdale ...
Carola Pointer
...
Herman Brandt
...
John Pointer
...
Mariette Pointer
...
Police Inspector Miller
Dorothy Tree ...
Mrs. Jolan Brandt
Helen Trenholme ...
Mlle. Josephine Mousquet, the Governess
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Emile, Brandt's Valet
Robert Barrat ...
Halasz, the Apartment House Manager
Hal K. Dawson ...
Assistant Stage Manager
Russell Hicks ...
Mr. Beyer, the Stage Manager
Spencer Charters ...
Max Bauer, the Porter
Etienne Girardot ...
Professor Peterson
Florence Fair ...
Thelma, the Pointer's Maid
Nan Grey ...
Alice von Attem (as Nan Gray)
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Storyline

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Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

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Release Date:

3 November 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ave de Fogo  »

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 »
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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1936 Igor Stravinsky sued Warner Bros. over the 'misuse' of his themes from the ballet "The Firebird". In 1938 a French court awarded him one franc in damages, instead of the 300,000 francs he was claiming. See more »

Soundtracks

The Firebird Suite
(1919)
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Excerpts played during the opening credits and as background music
Played on a record several times
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Vienna sausage at its wurst.
18 June 2005 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

This movie's title is almost entirely irrelevant. Ricardo Cortez portrays a suave musician in Vienna (memo to a previous IMDb reviewer: Vienna is not in Germany), who lures young maidens to his bachelor flat by offering to play Stravinsky's 'Firebird'. Of course, he's a cad with dozens of notches on his bedpost. Sooner or later, somebody is going to kill this guy. Sure enough, somebody does.

This is one of those murder mysteries that features a subjective camera shot from the viewpoint of the murderer, so that the victim looks the murderer right in the eyes but we don't know the murderer's identity. We see Cortez welcoming someone into his digs, and a woman's arm enters the frame ... so we know the killer is a woman. And she's white, too. Other than that, her identity is a mystery.

C. Aubrey Smith, more phlegmatic than usual, is the world-weary police inspector who's got to wade through the suspects. The prime suspect is Cortez's neighbour abovestairs, Verree Teasdale, whose lovely young daughter Anita Louise may have been ruined by Cortez. In this movie, Teasdale is married to Lionell Atwill, so she's got enough problems.

I'll give this movie some credit. The solution to whodunnit was a genuine surprise to me. Likewise, her motive (yes, the killer IS a woman) was something I didn't expect. Unfortunately, her motive isn't very plausible either. Also, this movie starts out as a whodunnit, but C. Aubrey Smith's sleuth spends much less time trying to solve the murder than he spends pontificating on the morals of the younger generation and such. This movie is based on a play, and it shows: there's lots of talk and very little action.

This movie was directed by William Dieterle, a brilliant craftsman who believed in astrology and numerology, and whose artistic decisions were often dictated by the horoscopes cast for him by his wife. She must have put her azimuth in the wrong house this time, because Dieterle's talents -- so amply demonstrated in many other films -- aren't much in evidence here. Several good actors try hard with weak material. I'll rate this movie just 4 out of 10.


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