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Director Joe May was so determined to make this a close remake of the German film Mazurka (1935) that he kept a print of "Mazurka" on the set and frequently ran sections of it, to the annoyance of the new film's cast. In addition to copying the German original shot-by-shot in many scenes, this film also reuses the original score and songs. See more »
"Mazurka", the German hit movie of 1935, was rethought by Julius Epstein, one of the best writers in the business. The film that resulted was "Confession", a vehicle created for the delicious Kay Francis, who was at the height of her fame at the time. Joe May directed this classic film that will endear itself to all classic movie fans. "Confession" packs a lot in its 86 minutes running time, something that would take a lot more of screen time in the hands of other, self-indulgent directors.
The film involves an older woman, Vera, who has had an unhappy life. She has been betrayed by the composer, and famous pianist, Michael Michailow, who abused her when she was young and full of life. That romance resulted in a girl, Lisa, who unknown to her, is being pursued by Michael Michalow himself! Supposedly, this story is based on an actual case that took place in Germany. It presented a different situation for American audiences, who were attracted by the unusual theme of the movie. We are all conditioned that crime must be punished, but in Vera's case, the killing is mitigated by what she is doing in order to protect Lisa, who is a naive, and decent, young woman.
Kay Francis does an amazing job in her portrayal of Vera. This is one of her best films and it shows the care which the whole project underwent to accommodate its star. Ms. Francis, wearing a blonde wig, sings and dances and makes a tremendous impact that dominates the picture from beginning to end. Basil Rathbone is perfect as the villain Miachel Michailow. The sweet Jane Bryant appears as Lisa. Ian Hunter is seen as Leonid and Donald Crisp does a fine job as the presiding judge.
They don't make movies like this anymore!
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