Paramount On Parade (1930) DVD

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Paramount On Parade (1930)


Dorothy Arzner, Otto Brower, Edmund Goulding, Victor Heerman, Edwin H Knopf, Rowland W Lee, Ernst Lubitsch, Lothar Mendes, Victor Schertzinger, A. Edward Sutherland, Frank Tuttle


Joseph L. Mankiewicz


Clara Bow, Maurice Chevalier, Jean Arthur, Clive Brook, Nancy Carroll, Gary Cooper, William Powell, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Fay Wray, Fredric March, Ruth Chatterton, Jack Oakie, Kay Francis, Phillips Holmes
Considered the best of the all-star "studio" musicals of 1929 and 1930, Paramount on Parade utilized the talents of practically everyone on the Paramount Pictures payroll. Under the supervision of British musical-comedy favorite Elsie Janis, 11 top directors contributed to the project: Dorothy Arzner, Otto Brower, Edmund Goulding, Victor Heerman, Edwin H. Knopf, Rowland V. Lee, Ernst Lubitsch, Lothar Mendes, Victor Schertzinger, Edward Sutherland and Frank Tuttle. Introduced by masters of ceremonies Jack Oakie, Skeets Gallegher and Leon Errol, the film is a vaudeville-like maelstrom of musical duets, comedy sketches, occasional dramatic interludes, and spectacular production numbers. To mention all the highlights would take a book in itself but among them are Nancy Carroll's rendition of "Dancing to Save Your Sole" (performed inside a giant shoe!); Maurice Chevalier (and chorus) soaring heavenward in "Sweeping the Clouds Away" ; child actress Mitzi Green's dead-on impersonations of Chevalier, George Arliss, Moran & Mack and Helen "Boop-a-doop" Kane; Ernst Lubitsch's witty staging of an Apache dance in the style of a polite boudoir farce, with Chevalier (again) and Evelyn Brent; Clara Bow's saucy "I'm True to the Navy Now" ; the wish-fulfillment sketch "Impulses," in which George Bancroft and Kay Francis delightedly upset a dinner party by saying what's really on their minds; and best of all, "Murder Will Out," a murder-mystery parody wherein Fu Manchu (Warner Oland) bumps off Sherlock Holmes (Clive Brook) and Philo Vance (William Powell) when they refuse to give him proper credit for his killing of Jack Oakie. Only the dramatic sketch with Frederic March and Ruth Chatterton truly creaks when seen today.

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  • 4
    not as I remembered it

    Posted by Philip Shultz on Jan 3rd 2023

    a very good print of an all-star review from Paramount Pictures in 1930. Some of the numbers were quite good, others, not so much. I remembered this film as being much better than it actually was.

  • 3
    Completes my collection of the studios' all-star reviews

    Posted by Frank Harrigan on Jun 12th 2022

    If this is from the best print available then it's just OK. I would prefer if it was from a pristine print but I guess that may not exist. So, I enjoyed it for what it was, Paramount's All-Talking, All-Hands-on-Deck, personalities' visual catalog. Maybe buried in Universal's vaults there is a better copy of this pre-1954 Paramount film to work from. (Paramount sold Universal all its pre-1954 films. Pretty dumb move in hindsight. And Universal is apparently reluctant to widely distribute their Paramount treasure trove which is why I'm glad Zeus is providing one of the only resources.)

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