moirafinnie wrote:Fernando, how was the quality of the print of The Affairs of Cellini? The one that Fox itself shows on FMC here in the states was very poor last time I watched it. The soundtrack desperately needed to be cleaned up too. With the exception of Death Takes a Holiday, I have a tough time being serious when Fredric March plays in most costume dramas. There's something that happens to him when he puts on tights...otherwise I think he's very funny, especially in modern dress comedy such as The Royal Family of Broadway, Design For Living, Nothing Sacred, I Married a Witch, etc...
I'm not sure what went wrong with this film, except that La Cava may have been trying to improvise his script or action as he went along, a technique that worked well in a few instances, such as My Man Godfrey & Stage Door, but not so hot other times. I usually find something enjoyable in his movies, despite the sometimes mixed results.
I think that the copy that was aired by Cinecanal Classics is the same one that's been aired by FOX in the United States. It's not very sharp and lacks constrast, if I put it coreectly and in some small parts the soundtrack has certain problems, audio gets lost a bit, but in the whole, considering it is a 1934 film it is quite a watchable copy. Not very good, but not bad either.
You are right about Fredric March, something happens to his performances when he puts on tights
Are they more florid? Although in period dramas such as the 1935 "Les Miserables
" and the 1934 "The Barretts of Wimpole Street
" I think he's very fine. I liked him in "Anthony Adverse
" too, but I am a sentimental. I agree that "Death Takes a Holiday
" is superb!
"The Sign of the Cross
" (1932) used to be a huge favorite of mine when I was a youngster, but when I saw it recently with "adult's" eyes I found it too stiff and artificial in certain parts, notwithstanding its marvelous Pre-Code aspects, Colbert's milk bath and Laughton's amusing Nero. March isn't at its best here and Elissal Landi has a thankless role.
Well, 20 years later the very similar "Quo Vadis?
" (1951) is very enjoyable as a colorful, "DeMillesque" kind of spectacle, but Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr have little to do with their lackluster roles. Patricia Laffan and Peter Ustinov as the villains are a joy to behold! And beautiful, sexy Marina Berti's infatuation with Leo Genn's character is much more interesting. Marina Berti really glowed with beauty in this film in comparison with her role as Angela Borghia in Ty Power's "Prince of Foxes
"; she looks stunning and so does Kerr, but her role is less interesting and colorful.