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Excellent sets, locations and atmospherics.
Anthony Adverse admittedly has a terrific score and solid performances across the board from its great cast, but this is yet another overcooked, bloated book adaptation epic which has no momentum to it whatsoever. It's sluggishly paced, rather dull and weakly plotted and adapted. It's thus a very undeserving Oscar nominee.
Adverse buys and sells slaves in Africa for several years -- seemingly without conscience, and all for money. He personally directs the selling of poor innocent black men and women to whoever can pay and condemns them to a life of servitude to their new masters. This is not a film to be admired. Adverse travels all over the world and Napoleon Bonaparte is even thrown in, but nothing can forgive his years of slave trading and the black stain on his mind and heart.
The best movie score ever composed!
Anthony Adverse is a gigantic epic costume drama/adventure film that was made at a time when a rigid production code was in place. If we look at the film within the confines of that production code we can see something beautiful yet watered down from its source material. The novel created quite the splash upon its release in 1933 and sold copious amounts of copies to become the bestelling novel of all time; replaced three years later by Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind.
Fredric March is our leading man here and he triumphantly portrays the troubled Adverse through his adult years. Olivia DeHavilland is stunning as his forgotten wife and there is scene chewing support galore from the likes of Edmund Gwenn, Claude Rains, and Gale Sondergaard (who won the first ever Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance). The film takes through a large amount of time and we travel to several different countries within that timeframe including Cuba and somewhere in Africa. What the film lacks in cohesion it makes up for in gorgeous black and white cinematography and flawless costume sets. It may not be remembered as one of Hollywood's great epic films but it should still be given a chance to take its place as one of its most extravagant.
Man, storytelling has come a long way. Overlong.
Ugh. That was a horrible waste of my time.
Two words: Bo and ring. Long, tedious, melodramatic, drippy music score. Fortunately, the following year (1937), Fredric March got not one but two opportunities to send up such meretricious media malarkey, both in Technicolor no less: "Nothing Sacred" and the original (and best) version of "A Star is Born."
Generally forgettable movie for which follows the adventures of the title character (Fredric March), who gets involved with many characters during both his childhood and as an adult. He hops from job to during a ten-year period and eventually fall in love a head cook's wife (Olivia de Havilland). Most people would regard this as one of the worst movies to be nominated for Best Picture. It is not very memorable, but it has nice costumes and peculiar characters that bring it along through its 139 minute running time. Other than that, however, not much else in the offering. Even Claude Rains is not that great. Again, I say it for this movie as well, mediocre at best.
a total MGM A picture in the truest sense of the term the dream factory at its finest