A young woman, Poppy, out for excitement in Shanghai, enters a gambling house owned by "Mother" Gin Sling, a dragon-lady who worked herself up from poverty to buy the casino. Sir Guy ... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg directed, photographed, provides the voice-over narration and wrote the screenplay (from a based-on-actual event novel by Michiro Maruyana translated by Younghill Kang) ... See full summary »
A criminal known as Thunderbolt is imprisoned and facing execution. Into the next cell is placed Bob Moran, an innocent man who has been framed and who is in love with Thunderbolt's girl. ... See full summary »
Film told in flashbacks of an older man's obsession for a woman who can belong to no-one but can frustrate everyone. The backdrop is SternbergÍs surreal and fantastic Carnaval in Spain. In ... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Edward Everett Horton
Mary Barrett is an aspiring Opera singer who is taken under the wings of a famous operatic maestro, Guilio Monterverdi. After spending endless working hours together and arguing, their ... See full summary »
New Moon is the name of the ship crossing the Caspian Sea. A young Lt. Petroff meets the Princess Tanya and they have a ship board romance. Upon arriving at the port of Krasnov, Petroff ... See full summary »
Joan and Magdalen are the daughters of a fisherman. Magdalen leaves her fiancé, Peter, to run off to the big city. Joan and Peter marry. Magdalen's return years later causes trouble for the... See full summary »
Josef von Sternberg
Charles K. French
This one is tough to honestly evaluate. On the one hand you have Grace Moore and her wonderful voice, able and adequate supporting roles, notably by the always reliable and graceful Frieda Inescort, Franchot Tone and Walter Connoly, and of course Sternberg's direction. For me at least that's reason enough to watch any movie, even this one which in some ways is an utter disaster. On the other there's just too much silliness, foolishness and Herman Bing. He can be aggravating enough even in small doses but he does way too much of that trademark tongue rolling and quaking of his for my taste.
And then there's the ages of the real Sisi (Moore's character, Elisabeth of Bavaria) and Franz Josef (Tone's character). When Sisi married Franz Josef she was 16 and he 24, not 40 and 30, the ages of Moore and Tone respectively. Even given the generous poetic license the producers took with the real story which is nothing if not tragic, there's only one way to look at this movie. It is nothing more than a vehicle for Grace Moore. And maybe that's reason enough to watch it.
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