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Sunday, May 25, 2008

MARIE ANTOINETTE (1938)


The M-G-M story department had to go thru back flips to make the frivolous/tragic French Queen worthy for Norma Shearer in her Grand Lady period. (What a shame that her silent and Pre-Code work is so little known. She wasn’t always such a noble bore.) Alas, even with all the sets and costumes and extras, the film tanked with no rooting interest. (As did the recent arty show from Sofia Coppola.) Straightforward historical stuff was hardly the forte of rough-and-ready megger W. S. Van Dyke, but the film does provide a fine trio of vintage acting in contrasting styles from John Barrymore, Robert Morley & Joseph Schlidkraut, while the young Tyrone Power easily out-dazzles his inamorata.

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