Painted Faces (1929)

Passed   |    |  Crime, Mystery

Painted Faces (1929) Poster

A vaudeville performer is murdered backstage and another performer is tried for the crime.

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4 October 2016 | MartinHafer
| Perhaps the great granddaddy of all jury films...
"Painted Faces" is a film best enjoyed by someone who is willing to cut the film a lot of slack. It's a bit old fashioned and the story has many portions that are tough to believe. But, it also is entertaining and worth seeing.

When the film begins, there is a murder and a young singer is found with the murder weapon...standing over the body. While it looks like an open and shut case, most of the film takes place in the jury room...where one lone holdout, Hermann (Joe E. Brown) refuses to vote guilty. Why? What secret insight does he have in the case?

This film is in many ways like the classic "12 Angry Men"...though made almost three decades earlier. It might just be the first lone holdout juror film--a familiar theme in some films of the 30s, 40s and well as TV shows such as "The Odd Couple" and "All in the Family". But it's also quite strange---especially in having Brown speaking with an odd Dutch accent (IMDB says Scandinavian but in the film one of the jurors refers to him as Dutch). It also was a rare film in that you see Brown perform a lot of acrobatics he learned when he traveled with the circus in his pre-Hollywood days.As for the's really tough to believe and strange. What also is strange is that despite Brown in the lead, it's NOT a comedy! Odd but worth your time.

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Release Date:

20 November 1929



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