The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)

Passed   |    |  Musical


The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929) Poster

An all-star revue featuring MGM contract players.


6/10
1,774

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  • The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)
  • Marion Davies in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)
  • Conrad Nagel and Anita Page in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)
  • Marion Davies in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)
  • Conrad Nagel and Anita Page in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)
  • Conrad Nagel and Anita Page in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)

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18 April 2002 | schappe1
What if there had never been any nude scenes and then...
....suddenly it was decreed that everyone had to do one? That's what was happening in 1929, except it was naked voices, not naked bodies that were being revealed. No one could hear the stars talk, so they got to imagine what their voices were like. They also got to imagine what they were saying, or read it on the occasional title card. With sound, they heard the voices themselves and also the lines written for them. Conrad Nagel comes out sounding like the elegant gentleman he was. John Gilbert's voice is a little high pitched, (rumor has it that Louie Mayer, who hated him, had the sound track sped up), and effected. In his first film after this, he was asked to say "I love you, love you! about a dozen times during a love scene- a sequence parodied in "Singing in the Rain", and the audience laughed. Clara Bow revealed her thick Brooklynese, which seemed to belie her image as a gay party girl. Greta Garbo had a deep voice with a thick Swedish accent- just like the audience had imagined. Ben Turpin, the cross-eyed comedian, played against his image by playing swash-buckling heroes in the silents. Talkies revealed he sounded like he looked and made his films a little too ridiculous.

When you watch Hollywood Revue of 1929 and other films of that year, you are looking at some very nervous people who's recently minted stardom was threatened with extinction. And few of them made it. Those who did, like Joan Crawford, made it for reason not apparent in this musical review. In the early 30's, a deluge of stage stars like Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Paul Muni, Katherine Hepburn, etc. would sweep them away and provide us with the stars of Hollywood's Golden Age.

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