starring Gloria Swanson
MOTION PICTURE CLASSIC
Perhaps Gloria Swanson thought she could not be a convincing French personage of the theater unless she resorted to extremes, but it seems to us that with half the expenditure of physical energy in playing the title role of "Zaza" (Paramount) she could have achieved much better results. She is a combination of Nazimova, Mae Murray and Lenore Ulric - and makes a frantic effort to be temperamental. Such outbursts are wearing upon one's composure. In her tranquil moments - which are few - she succeeds in being real. On the other hand. H.B. Warner is too subdued. It is a frigid performance indeed, for a character supposedly French.
The picture is staged with undue lavishness and really proves interesting in a majority of its scenes - particularly when Zaza is swinging in a ballet number over the heads of the audience. It's a story of a dancer's romance and a broken heart which is mended when the good Frenchman's wife conveniently dies, releasing him to fan the embers of a previous passionate love into a quick and vivid flame.
Miss Swanson may not be at her best here, but her clientele is so secure that we can hear the box office cracking under the strain.
Return to reviews page