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APPLAUSE (1929)

Paramount lobby card. Perhaps the finest of the earliest backstage musicals, directed by the brilliant Rouben Mamoulian. This was his very first film. Right from the start, Mamoulian knew how to make his camera move and tell a story even with the confines of the technical issues of early sound film making. Helen Morgan brilliantly made the transition from Broadway theatre acting (she was the original Julie of SHOW BOAT) to sound film, with a sincere and underplayed performance. The film was shot on location in New York City and is one of the greatest mother/daughter melodramas ever made. A legendary film which is often forgotten. Thought it did not receive Academy nominations or awards, it was recently added to the National Film Preservation Board, USA. In the card, ailing entertainer Kitty Darling is attended to by daughter (played by Joan Peers) and theatre personnel. Morgan’s most outstanding film work. In real life, Helen Morgan would suffer from alcoholism and die at 41.

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