26 September 2009 | Michael_Elliott
A Bit Long But Nice
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Three American GI's (Lawrence Gray, Benny Rubin, Cliff Edwards) at the end of WW1 fall in love with a French woman (Marion Davies) but she wants none of it and has to fight all of them off even though her heart might change. Apparently this film was originally made as a silent but the studio went back and re-filmed the entire thing. I'm sure they scrapped an entire movie because of Davies' famous lover but it would be interesting comparing both versions. This one here has a lot of music sequences so it would be interesting seeing what they did in the silent version. Considering this is an early sound film you have to expect some of the rather poor sound quality but Davies performance will have her fans wanting to check this out. There's really not too much story here and certainly not enough to carry a 112-minute film. The movie runs a tad bit too long because it's quite predictable so getting to the ending takes quite a while especially when you know who she's going to fall in love with. The music sequences are all rather strange because they pop out of anywhere and the film doesn't try to hide the fact that many of those doing the singing really aren't that talented in the field. The rather bland singing makes for an interesting experiment and in some ways it makes the film seem almost surreal but at the same time the bad singing works against the "musical" aspect of the film. Davies gets to belt out a couple lines but they're hidden within some comedy. Either way, she turns in a fine comic performance even though her French accent isn't the greatest. The think accent is also hard to understand at times due to the sound quality but it's only a minor problem. The three male leads are all fine in a strange sort of way and they're certainly over the top in a campy but entertaining way.