Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (7)
| Fresh (7)
| Rotten (0)
| DVD (1)
[A] deliciously sordid soap opera.
What rescues the movie from quaint anonymity is the nausea-inducing darkness that permeates its every frame
It's the brilliant performance by the radiantly beautiful Brooks that makes this otherwise forgettable soap opera story memorable.
The Hollywood ideal corrupted by the deleterious social effects of the Third Reich remains one of the most haunting synergies in silent film.
This is one of the films discussed in the documentary From Caligari to Hitler set in Weimar-era Germany prior to WWII. Weimar Germany itself is a cautionary tale against a morally righteous society with dark hidden recesses of inhumanity. This is the second collaboration between Austrian G.W. Pabst and American dancer Louise Brooks. This silent has a mature, complex plot with recognizable human drama. The plot concerns things in a culture's underbelly that 40+ years later would be the focus of countless exploitation flicks. The young innocent Thymiane (Brooks) is taken advantage of, has a baby out of wedlock, is forced to give the baby for adoption, is kept prisoner at a cruel militaristic reformatory, later falls into prostitution, becomes disowned by her family (who claim to be much more upstanding citizens), and yet when she is given the opportunity to advance herself with large sums of money, she is able to do the decent thing and help those who have less than her. The prolific Fritz Rasp, who also often worked with Fritz Lang, will make your skin crawl as the creep who takes Thymiane's innocence. Edith Meinhard as Erika, a girl Thymiane befriends in the reformatory and later introduces her to the life of a call girl, is memorable. The woman and her assistant who run the reformatory with iron fists are endlessly copied in future tales of bad girls being forced back on the straight and narrow. André Roanne as Thymiane's friend, a young Count with no real career skills who is cut off from his family's money, is very modern. This is the first film I've seen with Louise Brooks and she did not disappoint. I read about Brooks, Clara Bow, and Colleen Moore recently in the book Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern by Joshua Zeitz. Brooks' character faints from excessive emotions a little too often, but this American flapper in Germany with that iconic hairdo of the 20s was a natural in the role. "A little more love and no-one would be lost in this world."
This is the only silent movie I have ever sat through. I didn't think I would enjoy it, but I did. Louise Brooks was compelling as an actress and the story was a little raunchier than I would have expected from that era also.
First of all, it's strange that Flixster says this movie is from 1981, it's really from 1929! Anyway, I highly recommend this movie, it's a has a great story, it's not dated at all, and it's very engaging. I really liked this movie.
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