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The Private Life of Don Juan (1934)

What do women want? Don Juan is aging. He's arrived secretly in Seville after a 20 year absence. His wife Dolores, whom he hasn't lived with in five years, still loves him. He refuses to ... See full summary »

Director:

Alexander Korda

Writers:

Henry Bataille (play), Frederick Lonsdale (story) | 3 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Douglas Fairbanks ... Don Juan
Merle Oberon ... Antonita, a Dancer of Passionate Temperament
Bruce Winston Bruce Winston ... Manager of The Black Cat
Benita Hume ... Dona Dolores, a Lady of Mystery
Gina Malo ... Pepita, Another Dancer of Equal Temperament
Binnie Barnes ... Rosita, a Maid Pure and Simple
Melville Cooper ... Leporello
Owen Nares ... Antonio Martinez, an Actor as Actors Go
Heather Thatcher ... Anna Dora, an Actress as Actresses Go
Diana Napier ... A Lady of Sentiment
Joan Gardner ... Carmen, a Young Lady of Romance
Gibson Gowland ... Don Alfredo, Carmen's Poor Husband
Barry MacKay ... Rodrigo, the Impostor, a Man of Romance (as Barry Mackay)
Claud Allister ... The Duke, as Dukes Go (as Claude Allister)
Athene Seyler ... Theresa, the Innkeeper, a Middle Aged Lady of Young Sentiment
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Storyline

What do women want? Don Juan is aging. He's arrived secretly in Seville after a 20 year absence. His wife Dolores, whom he hasn't lived with in five years, still loves him. He refuses to see her; he fears the life of a husband. She has bought his debts and will remand him to jail for two years if he won't come to her. Meanwhile, an impostor is climbing the balconies of Seville claiming to be Don Juan. When a jealous husband kills him, the real Don Juan sees a way to avoid jail and get some peace. He hides as Captain Mariano in a small town. After six months, he's ready to return to society: can he measure up to the legend, will women find him attractive, and what about Doña Dolores? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La vida privada de Don Juan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

'George Frank Rubens" wrote the words and music of a promotional song, "Don Juan" inspired by the film, published by Chappell in the UK in 1934. See more »

Quotes

Don Juan: Lovely? When did you tell her that she was lovely? When did you send her a basket of flowers? When did you whisper words that sent shivers up-and-down her spine? Not for years. Because, you were married. You just owned her. Like a monkey, a fiddle! So that a miserable bungler could come and take her away from you. Why should a lovely wife be faithful to you? Clown! Yokel! Boob! Husband!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Lengthy, humorous and accurate role descriptions are listed for each character in the opening credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Shepperton Babylon (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Were Mine
(uncredited)
Composer unknown
Sung a cappella by Binnie Barnes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sadly ironic finale for the great Fairbanks.
5 June 2000 | by David-240See all my reviews

In one scene Melville Cooper says to Douglas Fairbanks: "Leave off while they still think of you as you were ten years ago". It is a sad moment that you feel must have rung true for the two actors. The great Fairbanks, a movie legend, hadn't worked for two years. His famous marriage to Mary Pickford was at an end. And he was ageing, at 51 he could no longer fill the film with his trademark stunts - though he still climbs a mean rope ladder.

Korda, perhaps cruelly, makes Don Juan a rather pathetic character - living off his legend rather than any real charm or beauty. Once he allows the public to believe he is dead, the real Don Juan can't even seduce a kitchen maid, and the only offer he receives is from an old lady - in a scene beautifully played by Fairbanks. When he stands on a stage and declares that he is Don Juan he is met with gales of laughter. You can't help thinking that Fairbanks might have met the same reaction had he stood before a crowd and declared himself to be Douglas Fairbanks.

The film itself is actually pretty good - splendidly staged if a little clumsy in pace. And Merle Oberon is ravishingly beautiful. Fairbanks, like Don Juan, seems tired - ready for retirement. The spark re-ignites briefly in some scenes, but the overall feeling is one of defeat. Within five years Fairbanks would be dead having never worked again. As the film concludes, with Don Juan finally succumbing to marriage, and therefore retirement, we get the impression that he won't live much longer either. A god has been brought to earth. A flame extinguished.


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