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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8 August 2009 | AAdaSC
| Not very good
Hap (Hal Skelly) befriends an Italian performer, Gardoni (William Powell), after he finds him on the street. They are both unsuccessful vaudeville entertainers and decide to team up on stage. They flop and Gardoni disappears while Hap finds love with Marie (Fay Wray). Hap takes Marie to see a show where he discovers that Gardoni has stolen his act. Not only that, but he also steals his girl. Gardoni and Marie marry and Gardoni offers Hap a part in his show. Gardoni is successful until he gets involved with Kitty (Kay Francis)...........

The film is a dud. Hal Skelly is wooden and far too over-enthusiastic about everything so that he comes across as retarded. His willingness to go that extra mile for a stranger is ludicrous as is his obsession with the word "hokum". As for William Powell, although his Italian accent is passable, his dialogue is ridiculous at times - clearly scripted by an American, as words like "whimsy" and "pathos" do not flow naturally in conversation, especially when speaking a foreign language. Kay Francis isn't on the screen for long enough - I thought that she was the best of the cast. The story is set in the world of that ghastly creation - the clown - and it's not very good.

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