|STORM AT DAYBREAK (director: Richard Boleslavsky; screenwriter: play by Sandor Hunyady/Bertram Millhauser; cinematographer: George Folsey; editor: Margaret Booth; music: William Axt; cast: Walter Huston (Dushan), Kay Francis Irina), Nils Asther (Geza), Philip Holmes (Csaholyi), Eugene Pallette (Janos), Mischa Auer (Assassin), C. Henry Gordon (Panto), Louise Closser Hale (Militza), Jean Parker (Danitza); Runtime: 78; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Lucien Hubbard; 1933MGM-B/W)|
production values for the costume drama are
fine, the problem is the melodrama is dull."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Richard Boleslavsky ("Clive of India"/"The Garden of Allah") helms a reconstructed drama of the events leading up to and after the Sarajevo assassination in June of 1914 of the Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his consort by a Serbian nationalist that sparked World War I . Though production values for the costume drama are fine, the problem is the melodrama is dull, the stars are too hammy and the material is more concerned about a romantic triangle than the war itself.
It's adapted from Sandor Hunyady's play by Bertram Millhauser.
Things get off with a bang when the Serbian (Mischa Auer) murders the Austrian archduke sitting in a car at a parade. The immediate reaction is warfare in Austria-Hungary between Serbs and Germans.
The Serbian Irina (Kay Francis) is the attractive wife of Dushan (Walter Huston), the Serb mayor and landlord of the peasants. After the outbreak of the war, the mayor and his wife remain in Hungarian territory, and protect Serb deserters. The dashing Hungarian officer Geza (Nils Asther), the best friend of the mayor, comes to his house looking for deserters and begins a secretive affair with his wife.
After the war Dushan learns his wife loves Geza, and inflicts on himself a violent suicidal death. He drives his carriage off a gorge and into a raging river, as he magnanimously lets the lovers escape together from the Serbian authorities led by Panto (C. Henry Gordon). He's the power-hungry former steward for Dushan who has risen to the rank of commissioner after the war.
REVIEWED ON 6/14/2017 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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