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Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

THE FLAME OF NEW ORLEANS

Marlene Dietrich and Theresa Harris
THE FLAME OF NEW ORLEANS (1941). Director: Rene Clair.

In old New Orleans lady of leisure Countess Claire (Marlene Dietrich) has set her cap for the wealthy older banker Charles Giraud (Roland Young). But Claire has left behind quite a reputation in St. Petersburg, and to deflect Giraud's suspicion she also pretends to be another notorious woman from Russia, Claire's lookalike and [kind of] cousin, Lily. Complicating matters is a lusty sailor named Robert Latour (Bruce Cabot), who has an eye for Claire (and Lili)  and vice versa. One could say that Flame of New Orleans is Dietrich's Two-Faced Woman [in which Greta Garbo pretended to be two different women] not just because of the plot but because Flame is similarly mediocre. However, the actors, especially a surprising Cabot, all do a good job, and they are backed by such stalwarts as Franklin Pangborn, Mischa Auer, Anne Revere, Laura Hope Crews, Andy Devine, and a host of talented black actors, including Theresa Harris [Baby Face] as Clarie's saucy, sexy maid Clementine. However, the film is predictable and not as much fun as it sounds. Clair also directed It Happened Tomorrow.

Verdict: Pleasant in many ways but minor. **1/2.  

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