7.1/10
470
19 user 14 critic

Mandalay (1934)

Abandoned by her lover, a woman becomes the main "hostess" in a decadent nightclub, but tries to put her past behind her on a steamer to Mandalay.

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(story) (as Paul Hervy Fox), | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
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Col. Thomas Dawson - Police Commissioner
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Mr. Abernathie
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Capt. McAndrews of the Sirohi
...
...
Col. Dawson Ames
...
Mrs. Kleinschmidt
...
Prof. Kleinschmidt
...
Betty Shaw (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Russian refugee Tanya Borisoff is suddenly abandoned penniless in Rangoon, Burma, by her lover, Tony Evans, who accepted a gunrunning deal from Nick, the owner of an amoral nightclub. Nick made the deal hoping to get Tanya as his main "hostess," which Tanya accepts after an initial refusal, just to make the best of a bad situation. She becomes notorious using the name "Spot White," but her affairs cause the commissioner of police to deport her. She reminds the commissioner of a previous tryst he had with her and extorts 10,000 rupees from him with which to make a new life. She uses a new name, Marjorie Lang, going to Mandalay, Burma, via the Irrawadi River by steamer, where she meets alcoholic Dr. Gregory Burton, who is on his way to help in an area plagued with a deadly contagious fever. As they slowly fall in love, she learns he's doing that to make amends for once operating on a patient while drunk, causing his death. She decides to go with him so they can put their pasts behind ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 February 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Capricho Branco  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 10,000 rupees Tanya extorts from Col. Dawson would equate to $3,788 at the time, which would be the equivalent of $67,000 in 2015. See more »

Quotes

Nick: [Tanya has just read Tony's note, in which he told her he's left. She's now at the mercy of Nick] You thought he loved you. Forget him. He's no good! Beautiful... I'm not going to hurt you. I'm going to give you a nice job. Ah, that countess, she's getting too old. But you'll be an ornament to the place.
Spot White: Let me out of here!
Nick: You can shriek in here for three weeks, and nobody will ever hear you. It was a question of you, or a cargo of guns. And you lost! I'm having your trunk sent to your room. ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits are first shown over a lavish building background (temple ?). We then see the actors' names shown with their photos. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Road to Mandalay
(uncredited)
Music by Oley Speaks
Played during opening credits
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User Reviews

 
pre-code meller of some historical interest
13 November 2005 | by (Montreal) – See all my reviews

"Mandalay" starts off as if it's going to be a real pre-code classic along the lines of "Safe in Hell" or "Red Dust". Kay Francis is abandoned by her gunrunning lover in Rangoon, and is doomed to become a courtesan (with the great moniker "Spot White") in Warner Oland's high class cabaret/brothel. Unfortunately, once our heroine escapes these confines and hits the river for Mandalay, the film becomes a turgid melodrama.

Michael Curtiz's baroque direction keeps matters visually interesting, but he can't breathe any life into the dismal characters. Ms Francis's lisp is more prominent than usual and Lyle Talbot shows why he deserved a future in Ed Wood extravaganzas. Plus, they both should have impaled the studio hairdresser. Although Oland plays an Oriental as usual, he's not saddled with the Charlie Chan accent this time, and shows plenty of mettle. Ricardo Cortez comes off the best with much spontaneity as an opportunistic rogue.

Pre-code buffs will definitely want to hang around for the conclusion, wherein the perpetrator of an insidious criminal deed blatantly walks off into the sunset scot-free! The short running time and jumps in the narrative make one wonder how much of the back-story was left on the cutting-room floor.


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