EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|THE SHOW (director: Tod Browning; screenwriter: from the novel Days of Souls by Charles Tenney Jackson/Waldemar Young; cinematographer: John Arnold; editor: Errol Taggart; music: Darrell Raby; cast: John Gilbert (Cock Robin), Lionel Barrymore (The Greek), Renée Adorée (Salome - the Dancer), Gertrude Short (Lena - the sheep herder' daughter), Edward Connelly (The Soldier), Andy MacLennan (The Ferret), Zalla Zarana (Zela), Betty Boyd (Neptuna), Edna Tichenor (Arachnida); Runtime: 70; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Tod Browning; MGM; 1927-silent)|
location shots around the carnival are atmospheric."
by Dennis Schwartz
The long-lost silent resurfaced in the
set at a Hungarian carnival,
which features a "freak show" known as the Palace of
Director Tod Browning ("Freaks"/"Devil
Doll"/"Dracula") keeps it fairly entertaining, and the
location shots around the carnival are atmospheric.
Writer Waldemar Young adapts it from the
novel Days of Souls by Charles
Tenney Jackson, but only keeps intact from the book
subplots of the blind father and the anti-hero's moral
The performers in the Hungarian carnival include
the womanizer Cock
Robin (John Gilbert), who plays John the Baptist and
is the show's "ballyhoo
dancer Salome (Renée
and a fiendish jealous villain known as the Greek (Lionel
Robin steals money from a
farm girl (Gertrude Short), whose shepherd father
was murdered by the Greek, and Salome agrees to hide
Robin in her room while the police search for him.
Meanwhile the Greek, jealous that his girlfriend
Salome is paying attention to Robin, tries killing him
during the show (like beheading him in his John the
Baptist act), but fails. The compassionate Salome, as
an act of kindness, writes letters to her father, a
blind soldier (Edward Connelly), pretending to be his
condemned to death imprisoned son, while keeping from
dad anything bad about his son.
In Salome's room, the Greek
tries killing Robin with a venomous iguana, but instead gets poisoned
and dies. Meanwhile Robin has a change of heart and
falls in love with Salome, and in act of redemption
returns the stolen money to the police.
This was Tod Browning, in
his favorite carnival environment, preparing for
future great horror pics. Too bad the climax had such
a sugary and unconvincing end, in an otherwise
REVIEWED ON 7/10/2013 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ