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23 user 17 critic

Mandalay (1934)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 10 February 1934 (USA)
Abandoned by her lover, a woman becomes the main "hostess" in a decadent nightclub, but tries to put her past behind her on a steamer to Mandalay.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Paul Hervey Fox (story) (as Paul Hervy Fox), Austin Parker (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kay Francis ... Tanya Borodoff / Spot White / Marjorie Lang
Ricardo Cortez ... Tony Evans
Warner Oland ... Nick
Lyle Talbot ... Dr. Gregory Burton
Ruth Donnelly ... Mrs. George Peters
Lucien Littlefield ... Mr. George Peters
Reginald Owen ... Col. Thomas Dawson - Police Commissioner
Etienne Girardot ... Mr. Abernathie
David Torrence ... Capt. McAndrews of the Sirohi
Rafaela Ottiano ... Madame Lacalles
Halliwell Hobbes ... Col. Dawson Ames
Bodil Rosing ... Mrs. Kleinschmidt
Herman Bing ... Prof. Kleinschmidt
Shirley Temple ... Betty Shaw (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Russian refugee Tanya Borisoff is suddenly abandoned penniless in Rangoon, Burma, by her lover, Tony Evans, who accepted a gunrunning deal from Nick, the owner of an amoral nightclub. Nick made the deal hoping to get Tanya as his main "hostess," which Tanya accepts after an initial refusal, just to make the best of a bad situation. She becomes notorious using the name "Spot White," but her affairs cause the commissioner of police to deport her. She reminds the commissioner of a previous tryst he had with her and extorts 10,000 rupees from him with which to make a new life. She uses a new name, Marjorie Lang, going to Mandalay, Burma, via the Irrawadi River by steamer, where she meets alcoholic Dr. Gregory Burton, who is on his way to help in an area plagued with a deadly contagious fever. As they slowly fall in love, she learns he's doing that to make amends for once operating on a patient while drunk, causing his death. She decides to go with him so they can put their pasts behind ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 February 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Capricho Branco See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "black fever" that Dr. Burton is on his way beyond Mandalay to treat is medically known as visceral leishmaniasis. It is the second most prevalent disease caused by parasitic protozoa, and it is spread by sand flies - much as malaria (the most prevalent) is spread by mosquitoes. In the pre-antibiotic era of this film, Burton's trip would have been most dangerous indeed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tony Evans: You've got me in a tough spot, Nick.
Nick: No. You got yourself in a tough spot. You tried to get along without me and you do what you call, "loose your shirt." It isn't my fault.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are first shown over a lavish building background (temple ?). We then see the actors' names shown with their photos. See more »


Soundtracks

On the Road to Mandalay
(uncredited)
Music by Oley Speaks
Played during opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A steamy melodrama only fans of Kay Francis may fully enjoy.
23 November 1998 | by Art-22See all my reviews

This melodrama was directed with a heavy hand by the usually reliable Michael Curtiz, with virtually no comedy relief, and there were too many problems with the movie. Kay Francis' character wasn't as sympathetic to me as it was supposed to be. True, she was forced into Warner Oland's amoral club when her lover and protector, Ricardo Cortez, abandoned her penniless in Rangoon, Burma. I had no problem with her being a high priced prostitute there to survive (a patron remarks that instead of calling her "Spot White," the name she adopted, she should have been called "Spot Cash"). Presumably, she made a lot of money, so why did she extort 10,000 rupees from Commissioner Reginald Owen, when he wanted to deport her back to Russia? She could have simply bargained for just leaving to a destination of her choice to prevent her from revealing the tryst Owen had with her a year earlier. It turned me against her. I liked the very surprising ending, which was completely against the Production Code, yet to be fully implemented later in 1934. Thus, the film was denied a certificate for re-release by the Hays Office in 1936. For a 65-minute film, it was very noticeable that Francis sits down at a piano three times to play and sing the only song in the film, "When Tomorrow Comes," in its entirety. It's a nice song, but three times was monotonous and an indication the thin plot was being padded. (The song was also obviously dubbed, since Francis had trouble with words containing the letter "R" and you don't hear "Tomowwow.")


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