Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Gigolettes of Paris (1933)

Madge Bellamy plays Suzanne, a woman whose trust is destroyed when her Count fiance (Theodore von Eltz) breaks their engagement, only to give her ring to another woman (Natalie Moorhead).    Shattered, she becomes a "gigolette" and with the help of her friends (Gilbert Roland and Molly O'Day) is determined to get back her ring - and get revenge on the Count.

This is an Equitable Production and it shows; the sets are below-par, the costumes awful (Madge Bellamy's dresses didn't even fit), and the background music used in the club scenes is insufferably repetitive.

The film itself is marred by Madge Bellamy's poor performance.  I hate to say it but - at least in this picture - she was a really bad actress.  Gilbert Roland and Natalie Moorhead were good, but the former looked incredibly old and tired.  How can this be the same man who made Call Her Savage just a year before?  (They wanted us to believe he was 26!)

Every film has its bright spot, and for me it was Molly O'Day.  Salty and sweet, she reminded me of Marie Prevost in Three Wise Girls.  And what an interesting face!  She injected some much-needed comedy and for her I am grateful.

I give this one: 


Jump_Raven said...

I'm surprised at the low rating on this film and the previous one. I haven't seen them, but I have seen a lot of pre-codes and usually they are incredibly consistently average.

BaronessVonVintage said...

too bad. the word "gigolette" is fantastic, though

Lolita Kane said...

What a cheap bastard! Couldn't he give the other woman a ring of her own instead of recycling? Or was that perhaps a question of budget, considering the rest of the film's quality? ;)

Avalon76 said...

Jump_Raven: You're right - most of the other pre-Codes I've seen are fun bits of fluff. I wanted to like this one, but...it just doesn't deliver. It's not even a fun kind of cheesy.

La Baroness: isn't it though? *laughs*

Lolita: he definitely was a bastard, in more ways than one. And the budget was so low I'm surprised they had actual extras instead of cardboard cutouts. =D