The Gallant Fool (1933)

Passed   |    |  Western

The Gallant Fool (1933) Poster

As part of Rainey's circus, Dad Denton returns to the town where he is supposedly wanted for murder. When his old enemy McDonald spots him with out his clown makeup, he sets his men up to ... See full summary »



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31 May 2018 | boblipton
| Acrobatic Steele
I doubt anyone will be surprised with anything in the movie's plot. Bob Steele and dad George Hayes (teeth in, hair combed, still a bit stagey in his acting) are members of a circus. Bob loves acrobat Arletta Duncan. Hayes says no woman is worth being a fool over, confesses he's a wanted man, which is why he only appears in public in clownface, and that Bob was born in this very county. So when Bob goes the next morning to buy a horse and motherly Vane Calvert comes out and is nice, we know how that's going to turn out.

What makes this movie so good is that it isn't a western but a circus movie, and Bob is at his most acrobatic. He mounts his horse in an engaging manner; he engages in various hi-jinks on the slack wire, the trapeze and so forth, and he fights, of course. Surprisingly, he also sings a little, a love song to Miss Duncan, and while he's not a great singer, he can carry a tune if you're not too fussy about the details. It's Bob Steele at his action best in a different way. The circus acts make up half the movie, and they are a lot of fun.

The copy I saw was not a good one, but it was good enough that I could tell that DP Faxon Dean was a good one, even though this was his next-to-last film. Take a look at the way he moves his camera to maintain composition and focus during the circus acts. He retired to run a camera department for Jesse Lasky and a photographic-equipment-rental business for a quarter of a century.

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Release Date:

29 May 1933



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