Applause (1929) - Rotten Tomatoes

Applause (1929)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Applause Photos

Movie Info

Early talkie in which an over-the-hill burlesque singer tries to shelter her convent-raised daughter from the harsh realities of her life. Film debut of director Rouben Mamoulian, who brought tremendous invention to his use of the camera as well as an innovative approach to sound.
NR (for language)
Drama , Musical & Performing Arts
Directed By:
Written By:


Helen Morgan
as Kitty Darling
Joan Peers
as April Darling
Fuller Mellish
as Hitch Nelson
Fuller Mellish Jr.
as Hitch Nelson
Jack Cameron
as Joe King
Dorothy Cumming
as Mother Superior
Jack Singer
as Producer
Paul Barrett
as Slim Lamont
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Applause

Critic Reviews for Applause

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (5)

This deeply affecting tale of Stella Dallas-style maternal self-sacrifice transcends its sentimental shortcomings through the fluency of direction that was to become Mamoulian's trademark.

Full Review… | April 7, 2016
Time Out
Top Critic

Though this is Mamoulian's earliest, it's possibly his freshest film.

Full Review… | April 7, 2016
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

In most cases, however, Mr. Mamoulian commits the unpardonable sin of being far too extravagant. He becomes tedious in his scenes of the convent and there is nothing but viciousness in his stage passages.

Full Review… | April 7, 2016
New York Times
Top Critic

[It is] surprising to find Rouben Mamoulian, recently director of legitimate productions for Manhattan's Theatre Guild, experimenting so weakly with the cinema.

Full Review… | April 7, 2016
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This is the real old burlesque, in its background, people and atmosphere. So was Beth Brown's book, and Garret Fort has adapted with sufficient fidelity to hold together the odd story that makes an odd picture.

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

This very early talkie should be seen for the heart-rending performance of the legendary stage singer Helen Morgan.

Full Review… | April 7, 2016
Radio Times

Audience Reviews for Applause

Applause is familiar in its plot and characters and its ending is admittedly ridiculously harsh, but this is still such a good early sound film with some excellent, really groundbreaking camera movements and sound quality at display here and it is an excellent mix of musical, melodrama and romance with many dramatic and heartbreaking scenes, but also having many truly wonderful, romantic sequences that are so charming. It is a weird, but memorable early talkie.

David Lazovic
David Lazovic

In "Applause," Thea(Paprika Steen) is just out of rehab and acting in a production of 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' Otherwise, she is trying to get her life back together, with her ex-husband Christian(Michael Falch) having already re-married to Maiken(Sara-Marie Maltha), a psychologist. That becomes increasingly important for Thea, especially as it regards potential custody of her two young sons. While "Applause" has its strengths in being a character study, it is often just as obvious, which is best exemplified in its choice of a play within the movie.(Admittedly, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' does sound better in Danish than in English.) Plus, Paprika Steen's lead performance is more showy than powerful as a character whose issues may extend beyond her addictions.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


I found the trailer online the other day and I can't wait to see it. Steen is a powerful actress and can make any film incredible.

Kyle Schee
Kyle Schee

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