Marquis Sévéro, a rich, lazy Parisian, wants to divorce his wife so that he can marry his own goddaughter Denise. But Denise herself loves André Berval, an engineer employed by the marquis.... See full summary »
Marquis Sévéro, a rich, lazy Parisian, wants to divorce his wife so that he can marry his own goddaughter Denise. But Denise herself loves André Berval, an engineer employed by the marquis. Filled with jealousy, the marquis sends André to the Antilles, to prospect some land he has just acquired. He promises André that he can marry Denise if he is successful in the tropics, but he then writes to Alvarez, his manager at the site, asking him to prevent André from ever returning to France. The brutal Alvarez forms an instant hatred for André when the engineer breaks up Alvarez's attempt to rape Papitou, a beautiful native girl. Papitou becomes devoted to André, and protects him against Alvarez's schemes. But she faces a crisis herself when she learns that André plans to marry Denise. Written by
Worth watching, but skip the awful "documentary" on the DVD
The film itself has an interesting plot and is well-acted by most in the cast. Baker is enjoyable to watch, although I don't think this film lets you in on why Baker was considered so talented in her day. She does a sort of athletic Charleston and a couple of shimmies, but I didn't see what the fuss was about. Perhaps she was someone you needed to see live. Also, this is her debut film, so perhaps it is not a great showcase for her dancing talent. Still, the plot is followable, and Baker has some funny bits including pushing her way into a boat ticket line by using her fanny.
The musical accompaniment, new for this DVD, is excellent. If it were available on CD, I'd buy it.
There's some interesting extra footage in the Extras section on the DVD, but skip the so-called documentary with the dance experts. Instead of showing clips of what the talking heads are nattering on about, the camera focuses on the talking heads as if we care what they look like. Dull, dull, dull. And they're the kind of talking heads that refer to their subject by her first name as if they all knew her intimately.
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