Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Now Playing: OCTOBER 8, 1933

A competitive field in Milwaukee this week. Here's the prestige release of the lot:

This all-star M-G-M picture was held up in litigation with the author's estate for generations, so that it only had its Turner Classic Movies premiere last year. It doesn't quite live up to its cast, and the struggles of aviation in South America were dramatized better in Only Angels Have Wings.

Paramount's offering is a single-star vehicle and Claudette Colbert makes the most of it.

Here's my review -- and here's my opinion of the next one.

Recent revivals suggest that people are getting over the obvious political incorrectness of Raoul Walsh's film in order to appreciate its irreverent vitality. For some, it may stand as a paradigm of Pre-Code, for good or ill.

Meanwhile, will a star be born this week?

I've sort of seen this film. That is, I've seen the German-language, Rod LaRoque-less version of this international co-production but haven't got around to the American edition, which is an extra on the Kino DVD.  It has some pretty spectacular stunt and location work, but Riefenstahl doesn't make that big an impression. Her mind may have been on her own directorial debut, The Blue Light. Think how history may have changed had Iceberg been a hit here. We might not remember Leni Riefenstahl at all ... because I doubt Hollywood would let that last name stand.

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