Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


STORM AT DAYBREAK (1933). Director: Richard Boleslawski.

The assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand exacerbates tensions in Austria between the Serbs and Hungarians. But make no mistake, politics are only a backdrop in this movie that is really about the "eternal triangle." Dushan Radovic, the Serbian mayor of the town, is friends with the Hungarian Captain Geza Petery (Nils Asther), who is really in charge of the area. Unfortunately, Petery and Radovic's wife Irina (Kay Francis) find themselves falling in love. Dushan mistakes Irina's strange attitude when she's around Petery with anti-Hungarian hatred, when actually she's becoming more and more obsessed with the man ... Handsome production values, an intelligent script (by Bertram Millhauser, taken from Sandor Hunyady's play), and fine performances from the leads make this a compelling and interesting romantic drama. One bizarre aspect is that the extras always seem to be singing! Some powerful scenes in this and a satisfyingly tragic wind-up.

Verdict: Intriguing lost drama. ***.

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