October 25, 2006

Marie Antoinette, Old School

Curiosity prompted me to watch the 1938 version of Marie Antoinette, starring Norma Shearer and Tyrone Power last weekend. If you have the time or inclination, or if you happen to catch it on cable, I'd suggest checking it out, just for kicks. Here are some reasons why:

• Norma Shearer is ADORABLE as the queen.
• She has a bitchin' thrown-down with Madame du Barry (much better than the Coppola version of this scene.)
• Louis XVI (played by Robert Morley) is ridiculous to the point of prompting snorts of laughter. I think the dimwittedness may have been overdone, but it is pretty damn funny. He's so dumb that you can't help but root for the guy.
• Tyrone Power as Axel Ferson blows Jamie Dornan's performance out of the water. Quite the hottie.
• The dresses are stunning, albeit a bit more voluminous than those in the current film. Could definitely hide a couple of court midgets under those dresses.
• The Duke de Orleans gives Eddie Izzard a run for his money. (I just Googled him and he really was a transvestite. Kind of cool that they went there in a 1938 film.)
• Unlike the Coppola film, this one covers the Affair of the Necklace (a big plotline left out of the current version and one which had a huge impact on the monarchy's downfall.) -- Amy

1 comment:

  1. On your recommendation, I ended up Tivo-ing the last hour of this. Thanks, it was great! I missed most of the court intrigue, but Robert Morley was awesome, and Norma Shearer was even better. I didn't even recognize her in that last scene. Hopefully I can catch it again on TCM sometime.