Behind the Make-Up (1930)

Passed   |    |  Drama

Behind the Make-Up (1930) Poster

Gardoni, a down-on-his-luck vaudeville performer, is taken in by a fellow performer, a clown who has a bicycle riding act. Gardoni shows his appreciation by stealing the clown's act and his girlfriend, whom he marries.


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18 January 2013 | kitchent
| Disappointing
Sometimes you run across an old movie that really makes you stand up and take notice that there were some truly GREAT movies made in the 1930's. This is NOT one of those times.

In my unhealthy quest to see every available Fay Wray film (what a dish!), I picked this one up somewhere and was really disappointed in it. I won't go into the plot as others have explained that, but suffice to say William Powell steals the show as an Italian vaudeville performer. I know he is supposed to be the bad guy, but being William Powell, you know, the Thin Man, it's hard not to like the guy. The supposed good guy is so bland as to be unwatchable and the direction in this film is pretty bad. I'll give some leeway as this was done in 1930 and sound was still pretty new. But overall, this film just plods along with very little propelling it forward.

More to the point, Fay Wray looks horrible in the beginning of the film with a hair style that looks straight out of a 1990's revival of the Broadway show "Hair". She gets it together after hooking up with William Powell, though, and looks her delicious self the rest of the film. However, she has very few close ups and one of those is ruined by a stray shadow across her face. Sigh.....

Overall, I can't recommend this to anyone but die hard fans like me. I'm glad I saw it, but won't watch it again. I'd rather watch "The Most Dangerous Game" for the 100th time.

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