Crowds flock to a carnival sideshow to see "The Starving Man", a heavyset man who claims he can go 70 days without eating. However, a couple of murders occur at the carnival, resulting in the police becoming involved.
A gunrunner loses his cargo near a small coastal Sudanese town so he's stuck there. When a woman hires him to raid a sunken ship in the shark-infested waters, he sees a chance to compensate for his losses. He's not the only one.
There haven't been many movies on the subject of THE most fascinating and terrifying era of Hollywood history - the chaotic and brutal transition from Silents to Talkies (that period ended WAY more Hollywood careers than the McCarthy blacklist era). The best known, of course, are "Singin' In The Rain" (the most complete treatment of the subject, and DAZZLINGLY funny), and "Sunset Blvd" (oh-so-dark, and with razor-sharp teeth), and they were both 20+ years after the fact. Here's one that's less than 10 years removed, when the wounds of the victims were still pretty fresh and oozing, and it's flawed but TERRIBLY fascinating in that light. This page categorizes it as COMEDY, but I didn't detect any (intentional) laughs, except perhaps in the bizarre (and tacked-on-feeling) party sequence near the end featuring actual stand-ins for many major stars of the day. One suspects that Dix played a major role in bringing this story to the screen, and that it might have represented his own story (his thinly-fictionalized character fails to make the switch to talkies because of a mild drawl, and because, supposedly, Westerns are finished due to the inability to take the new technology outdoors). As I studied his filmography on this site, I'm seeing that he was never unemployed during that era, but that he DID go from making 5 or 6 films a year in the mid-'20s to 1 or 2 a year in the early thirties, so I guess that might have been a sufficient jolt to his lifestyle to embitter him a bit. REALLY interesting stuff, and Fay Wray is GORGEOUS and memorable (as always). Absolutely recommendable to any Hollywood history buff.
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