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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Beau Ideal (1931)

An American (Lester Vail) in love with an English noblewoman (Loretta Young) joins the French Foreign Legion for the express reason to find the girl's fiance (Ralph Forbes), who is in a French penal prison, and return him to her. This adventure is based on the novel of the same name by P.C. Wren who wrote BEAU GESTE) and utilizes some of the same characters here. While the desert scenes have a commendable authenticity, the film itself is marred by static direction by Herbert Brenon and bad performances all around. It was still early in the sound era and the performances here are of the over enunciated, gesturing style normally associated with the stage acting of that time. There's also a slight tinge of anti-Muslim animosity that permeates the film. The uncredited score is by Max Steiner. With Leni Stengel, Irene Rich and George Regas.

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