5.6/10
208
15 user 8 critic

Bright Lights (1930)

A successful Broadway star ready to retire from her wild career announces her engagement. But her tumultuous past isn't done with her yet.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Humphrey Pearson (screen version & dialogue), Henry McCarty (screen version & dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Mackaill ... Louanne
Frank Fay ... Wally Dean
Noah Beery ... Miguel Parada
Daphne Pollard ... Mame Avery
James Murray ... Connie Lamont
Tom Dugan ... Tom Avery
Inez Courtney ... Peggy North
Frank McHugh ... A. Hamilton Fish, a reporter
Edmund Breese ... Harris
Edward J. Nugent ... 'Windy' Jones (as Eddie Nugent)
Philip Strange Philip Strange ... Emerson Fairchild
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Storyline

The lovely young star of a Broadway show is giving an interview to several newspaper writers and tells them about her wild life, parts of which involved "hula dancing" in Africa and an involvement with a dangerous Portuguese smuggler. Unbeknownst to her, the smuggler has showed up at the theater on that very night. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What a Cast and Story - Crammed With Drama -- Songs -- Girls -- Hatred. And How Dorothy Does That Hula-Hula -- Oh Boy!

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Adventures in Africa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Apparatus) (Vitaphone)

Color:

Black and White (TV prints)| Color (2-strip Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While no Technicolor prints have survived of the complete film, a 2-to-3 minute color clip was recently recovered--a dressing room scene involving Mackaill, Fay, and McHugh. See more »

Soundtracks

Chinatown My Chinatown
(1910) (uncredited)
Music by Jean Schwartz
Lyrics by William Jerome
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Contrast of Registers
21 January 2015 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

The First National Musicals that have been turning up on TCM are interestingly elephantine antiques for fans of old movies. In many ways they are as interesting for what the film makers got wrong as what they got right. No Broadway theater ever had such immense stages as are seen in this one, not even the new ones, miked when they were built. The chorus lines are dwarfed on the stage.

Likewise, director Michael Curtiz and cinematographers Lee Garmes and Charles Edgar Schoenbaum can't seem to figure out how to stage people for camera and microphone. Frank Fay seems stagy and ill at ease in close-ups and two-shots, but when he is performing on stage and shot in medium long range from about the sixth row, (although there are no seats) he is fine. Contrariwise, star Dorothy MacKaill is at her best in Dutch angle close-ups. She may have started as a chorine, but she had become a star in silent pictures.

The other performers offer interesting contrasts. Who know that Daphne Pollard could sing? Can you spot John Carradine in his first film performance? Could Frank McHugh be more annoying as a drunk reporter? These are the things that make this movie interesting more than eighty years later.

They don't make it good. The movie musical went into eclipse for three years from ill-managed things like this. It's certainly not hard to understand why.


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