Nana is a 1934 American Pre-Code film, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, released through United Artists, starring Anna Sten. and directed by Dorothy Arzner and George Fitzmaurice. This version ... See full summary »
This adaptation of Emile Zola's novel "NANA," is about the sexual liaisons of a woman who through her relationships with different men, enjoys a life of pleasure and luxury. However, her lavish life-style does not always bring happiness.
After a line of mischief Philip Gale, an American sailor, is lured into hiring on the "Yorikke", a tramp cargo, by Lawski, a stoker from Poland. Still, the two become friends within the ... See full summary »
In Zola's Paris, an ingenue arrives at a tony bordello: she's Nana, guileless, but quickly learning to use her erotic innocence to get what she wants. She's an actress for a soft-core ... See full summary »
Andre Noblet, a 21-year-old French artist falls madly in love with Christine, the mother of two children. He tells Chistine he will tell all to her husband and demand her freedom. Christine... See full summary »
Now I understand why the Nouvelle Vague was so necessary.
I waited a long time to see this adaptation of Zola's famous novel but was really disappointed by the slow pace, the stilted dialogue (badly subtitled as well, in the VHS tape I saw) and the unimaginative camera work. It's pretty clear that this is precisely the type of post-WWII studio film against which Truffaut and Godard rebelled. And thank God they did, because their work is so much more interesting than period potboilers like this one. Martine Carol is vivacious and charming, but with limited acting ability. To be fair, "Nana" is the type of actress who is renowned for her fabulous body and her bold display thereof, rather than for any kind of musical or dramatic skills. (Sound familiar, Hollywood?) Also, as a plus, the film is very frank about how Nana earns a living outside of her stage appearances, and how her entourage skims off her fees by providing either information or access. I found this candor refreshing since most Hollywood movies of this era are very coy about whoring. Think about the presentation of Jo Van Fleet in "East of Eden," for example. Charles Boyer plays the male lead here, a hypocritical aristocrat in the Emperor's employ, but it's an unsatisfying part. It's all about "Nana," and in the end, being the selfish little baggage she is, she would prefer it that way.
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