Archive for the ‘Bebe Daniels’ Category

Reaching For The Moon

19 Jun

Reaching For The Moon — Directed by Edmund Goulding. Musical. An inconsiderate tycoon looses it all in the crash as he falls for a millionairess. 71 minutes Black and White 1931.

* * * *

A musical curiously truncated by the removal of all the music. Irving Berlin’s pieces, too. But judging by what was left in, they must have been stinkersoos. Bing Crosby sings one of the remains. And a beautiful actress, Bebe Daniels, sings another. Even these we might have been spared. Except that Bebe Daniels, who made 230 movies in her lifetime, is an enchanting actress, I am riveted by her ease of attack, fluidity, musicality of delivery. If she appeared in films today she would be entirely acceptable and desirable. Wonderful eyes. I am in love. The script is raised above the floor by the presence of Edward Everett Horton who plays the mentor butler hilariously. Risque too in those pre-code days. His Mr. is Douglas Fairbanks playing a bumptious billionaire. Laughing perpetually, he races around after Daniels, crawls up the walls, slides down the flagpole and in general inspires her derision, until… until he speaks his true heart. Now never let two things be said again: 1] that he was not an actor; 2] that he avoided love-scenes. For he is superb in this scene, and no wonder it wins her. Fairbanks they say was at the end of his career and downcrest and frantic; they say he was not interested in talkies and grieved the loss of the acrobatic spectacles he made his name with, but…he was too old. He’s in his late 40s. He had only two films left in him. Fairbanks doesn’t sing, but the sets by William Cameron Menzies do. If you’ve never seen a White Telephone Movie this one will boggle your eyes. Check out that ocean liner, check out that nightclub. And check out those evening gowns, boys and girls. Wow, did they ever know how to drape a lady’s derriere. Sweet were the times. The film ends abruptly at its climax. Like this.







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