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....
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Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker was born poor, but achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic and erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville ... 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
During the 20's, the Weimar nights were fabulous, full of exciting and decadent cabarets in which this German count spent many glorious soirées but it is fair to say that also in Paris, the Parisians knew how to have fun.
Dame Josephine Baker, Amerikan from birth, French by adoption, was the indisputable queen, a legend of the Parisian nights during the 20's, an enormous singer and entertainer that did delight the French bourgeoisie during the past century.
Dame Josephine Baker had a short film career, appearing from time to time in some films and, as it happens, in "La Revue Des Revues" recently reviewed by this German count. "La Sirène Des Tropiques, a film directed hand-in-hand by Herr Mario Nalpas and Herr Henri Étiévant, was her first full-length film as leading actress.
The most important aspect of "La Sirène Des Tropiques" is that it is a film with Dame Baker and this is the perfect excuse to watch this film. For Dame Baker fans or for ignorant longhaired youngsters who still don't know her, that's the most attractive aspect of the work because, in artists terms, the film it is an absolute failure.
The plot's topic about the tropics; engineer Berval ( Herr Pierre Batcheff ) is sent to Monte Puebla by his boss the Count Severo ( Herr Georges Melchior ) in order to study the possibilities of mineral extraction from the mines that belongs to his chief. But the wicked Count ( a classical reiteration ) inner intentions is that Berval never return to France. In this way he doesn't have any obstacle in order to get Denise's love ( Dame Regina Thomas ). Meanwhile in Monte Puebla, Berval will meet Papitou ( Josephine Baker ) who is a sparkling indigene that will fall in love with him. She doesn't hesitate to pursue Berval to Paris where finally she will find out that he loves Denise but on the other hand she will become a music-hall star. The film is full of intrigues and satires (but this is too formulaic and with simple characters ). The result is an unwise mixture of genres in one film ( adventure, drama, musical, ) with plenty of bad performances including Dame Baker. This in spite of the fact that she plays a kind of free spirited girl, but similar to a cartoon character, a "pecata minuta" in itself. Our heroine was more interested to dance the Charleston than properly act. This is demonstrated at the end of the film, which includes an excerpt of her talented dancing. That's enough for Dame Baker fans and dissipated German aristocrats.
And now if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German count must unknot his knees before dancing Charleston.
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