Luise Rainer

Luise Rainer

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The Good Earth Review


Very Good
Imagine the uproar if The Good Earth had been made recently. Hell, people cried foul of Memoirs of a Geisha because it used Chinese actors to play Japanese roles. The Good Earth's stars were born in California and Germany.

Shockingly, surprisingly, stars Paul Muni and Luise Rainer pull it off. He's Wang Lung, a simple Chinese farmer. She's O-Lan, his even more simple wife. This adaptation of the Pearl Buck novel has the pair surviving through an epic struggle against poverty and nature, building their farm up from nothing (with O-Lan helping to bring in the harvest the night before she gives birth), then losing everything, slumming on the streets of the city, finding a cache of jewels during a riot, building it all up again, and facing a family crisis when Wang Lung decides to buy a second, younger wife. Hey, it's old world China. In the end, our heroes have to do battle against a plague of locusts. Locusts!

Continue reading: The Good Earth Review

The Great Ziegfeld Review


Weak
Here's a textbook case of how a film can lose its appeal over the years.

Florenz Ziegfeld (played by William Powell) was a real man responsible for creating Broadway as we know it. The three-hour opus traces nearly his entire life. He began by producing carnival-class shows, low-rent vaudeville acts designed to appeal to the common man -- wrestling, animal acts, and the like. Bored with philistine work, Ziegfeld raised lots of money to build a big show, starting with Broadway's Follies and culminating in the production of the classic Show Boat. Along the way, Ziegfeld loses everything more than once, owing to his addiction to gambling, but he always fights his way back to the top.

Continue reading: The Great Ziegfeld Review

The Gambler (1997) Review


Bad
The Gambler isn't quite based on Doestoeyevsky's novel of the same name. Rather, it's based on the events surrounding the writing of the novel, intercut with scenes ripped from the book.

The result is two films slapped together. Neither of them are very good on their own, and combined they make little to no sense at all, since the stories bear no resemblance to one another at all.

Continue reading: The Gambler (1997) Review

Luise Rainer

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Luise Rainer Movies

The Great Ziegfeld Movie Review

The Great Ziegfeld Movie Review

Here's a textbook case of how a film can lose its appeal over the years.Florenz...

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