British officer is assigned to duty in Ireland and gets embroiled in Anglo-Irish battles and old girl friend who is now married to an Irishman. Powell learns more than he wanted to know ... See full summary »
Anne Brooks is being blackmailed by her old dancing partner Maurice. They married when she was young but broke up after which he said he was getting a quickie divorce. Anne married the much... See full summary »
Al Howard may be a star on Broadway, but he is no longer welcomed by any producer. It seems that he just trots off to Mexico any time he wants causing shows to close and producers to lose ... See full summary »
Sybil Jason stated in her autobiography that director Michael Curtiz filmed some scenes at a real Hollywood orphanage, and (in the interest of realism) cast real orphans as extras. Among them, Jason remembered, was a young Marilyn Monroe, long before her first "recognized" role. This has not yet been confirmed by film historians and Monroe biographers. See more »
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
See more »
Five-year-old Sybil Jason, or "The Countess', with her wonderful clear English diction, is orphaned, and teams up with two cheap four-flushers, the con men Steve (Robert Armstrong) and Mortimer (Edward Everett Horton) on Broadway in depression New York.
What a masterful performance Sybil gave! A true work of acting genius. We first see her in the "Ritz" with her father, Steve and Mortimer eating a palatial dinner neither her gambling indebted father, nor the broke four flushers can afford. Abandoned by her father, Sybil ends up at the con men's cheap hotel. Later, lost on the street in Broadway with three black children, she performs masterful song, dance and imitation routines that can only be compared to the VERY BEST of Shirley Temple and Mitzi Green. In one of the most heartbreaking scenes in cinema history, Steve abandons her at an orphanage where, sobbing, she carries a suitcase nearly as big as herself down the walkway and collapses on the stairs to the front door. Beyond that, you'll have to see the rest of the movie.
Sybil runs the gamut of emotions in her acting, always with her special girlish English accent. Her voice rings like a perfectly tuned bell. With her big brown eyes, she alternates masterfully between a little girl's joy, pain, laughter, longing, affection and fear.
The movie itself is extremely well done. Not your usual depression era child mush-fest, the movie works on many levels -- beyond the little lost orphan story, it is a masterful, tough gangster film, a love story, and a glittering, multi-faceted cinematographic gem of depression era Broadway street scenes.
Favorite line --
The Countess: "I'll be good. I won't say a word. I'll just sit in the corner and eat a lollipop"
Let's hope that the classic movie cable channels dig up some more of Sybil's lost films.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this