"Madam Satan" (1930)--Starring Kay Johnson, Reginald Denny, Lillian Roth, and Roland Young. Directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
Strange film that is a mix of bedroom farce, musical, and disaster movie.
Movie starts out as a comedy, when two friends enter the house drunk. Wife Angela (Johnson)has seen from the newspaper that her husband Bob (Denny) and friend Jimmy (Young) spent the night in jail with a woman they named as Bob's wife. Angela finds a card telling Bob to meet Trixie (Roth) that night at 9:00. Bob ultimately walks out on Angela, and she vows to take Bob back.
The film's middle is set on a Zeppelin, where Jimmy is giving a masked party. There are two eye-popping numbers, "Do The Cat Walk", which has lyrics like "Meow", and the waitresses(?) wear cat outfits, complete with waving tails. That is immediately followed by "Ballet Mechanique", which looks like an Aztec religious ceremony crossed with the creation scene from "Frankenstein", mixed with late 20's fashions. It's indescribably nutty.
Movie then switches to a disaster picture, which is well done (DeMille was strongest at handling spectacle). The method of abandoning ship is something to see.
The spotlight tonight was on women editors. Anne Bauchens edited this one. Considering the plot, she did well to make a coherent film out of the footage from the editing room.
Douglas said this was a movie all film students should see.
Film is one of DeMille's strangest. Stick with the film through the first 50 minutes; there are occasional laughs, but film is Slow paced. Film starts moving once things get to the Zeppelin. 2.7/4.