Applause | Chicago Reader

Applause

Rouben Mamoulian's 1929 classic tells the story of a chorus-line mama (the great Helen Morgan) trying to keep her daughter out of the sleazy world of burlesque. The film is always used in courses on the history of the movies to show that not all early talkies were static and leaden, and it's true that Mamoulian manages some remarkable moving-camera effects (the only other director doing things of that sort was King Vidor in Hallelujah, also in 1929). Though this is Mamoulian's earliest, it's possibly his freshest film.

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