The story is simplicity itself. Just a pair of show people - one a lovely, considerate girl and the other a ventriloquist with a hyper-egotist complex. The expected break, followed by a rise from the grinds to the individual success of both. Then the too late realization of love by the dummy manipulator.

The story is simplicity itself. Just a pair of show people – one a lovely, considerate girl and the other a ventriloquist with a hyper-egotist complex. The expected break, followed by a rise from the grinds to the individual success of both. Then the too late realization of love by the dummy manipulator.

Erich von Stroheim, as the eccentric and arrogant performer who reveals a Pagliacci heart through the medium of Otto, the dummy, doubles the enhancement of a dominant screen personality with his lines. It is the voice, frenzied and then modulated to a pianissimo, that is one of the strongest threads, carrying the interest over sequences devoted to color and stage show that would be irrelevant gaps in productions less skillfully directed and enacted.

In part of the colored sequence the print is grainy and the characters blurred. But both of these conditions are too brief to be considered drawbacks.

The Great Gabbo

Production

Meyer-Cordish. Director James Cruze; Producer Henry D. Meyer, Nat Cordish; Screenplay Ben Hecht, Hugh Herbert

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1929. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Erich von Stroheim Betty Compson Don Douglas Margie Kane

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