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The Desert Song

Taking another step forward in the talking field by doing an operetta, following the story in detail and getting in the entire musical score and compositions, Warner Brothers have a winner. The only departures are for those scenes narrated in dialog, such as the riding of the Riffs and desert perspectives.

With:
John Boles Carlotta King Louise Fazenda Johnny Arthur Edward Martindale Myrna Loy

Taking another step forward in the talking field by doing an operetta, following the story in detail and getting in the entire musical score and compositions, Warner Brothers have a winner. The only departures are for those scenes narrated in dialog, such as the riding of the Riffs and desert perspectives.

Story starts off rather slowly with the unfolding of the identity of the Red Shadow (John Boles) by himself to his two faithful followers, but straightens itself out after the picture has run for an hour. Through it all there is little of the romantic on the screen as the principal players were chosen more for their voices than for ability to act screen roles.

Boles and Carlotta King do exceptionally well on the screen and, though they may be more convincing on the stage, their conceptions of the film characters are sincere and not flavoring of saccharine. Johnny Arthur as Benny Kid is exceptional. Aided by Louise Fazenda, as Susan, he supplies the lighter moments. Picture cost nearly $600,000.

The Desert Song

Production: Warner. Director Roy Del Ruth; Screenplay Harvey Gates; Camera Bernard McGill; Editor Ralph Dawson

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1929. Running time: 125 MIN.

With: John Boles Carlotta King Louise Fazenda Johnny Arthur Edward Martindale Myrna Loy

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