Marie Galante (film)
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Marie Galante is a 1934 American film directed by Henry King, starring Ketti Gallian and Spencer Tracy, adapted from a French novel by Jacques Deval. Later in the same year the novel was adapted into a French musical titled Marie Galante, with book and lyrics by Jacques Deval and music by Kurt Weill.
|Directed by||Henry King|
|Produced by||Winfield R. Sheehan (producer)|
|Written by||Jacques Deval (novel)|
Reginald Berkeley (screenplay)
Dudley Nichols (uncredited)
|Music by||Arthur Lange|
|Cinematography||John F. Seitz|
|Edited by||Harold D. Schuster|
|Distributed by||Fox Film Corporation|
|October 26, 1934|
The synopsis of the musical-play, is described by the Kurt Weill Foundation is as follows: "Marie is kidnapped and taken to Panama by a lecherous sea captain, who abandons her when she will not give in to his desires. She becomes a prostitute [merely a café singer in the film] in order to earn money to return to France; meanwhile, she is unwittingly involved in an espionage plot. She spends most of her money to care for a dying black man (Stepin Fetchit) whom no one else will tend to. When she does finally save enough money for a steamer fare, she is murdered by a spy who fears discovery the night before the boat sails."
- Spencer Tracy as Dr. Crawbett
- Ketti Gallian as Marie Galante
- Ned Sparks as Plosser
- Helen Morgan as Miss Tapia
- Sig Ruman as Brogard
- Leslie Fenton as General Saki Tenoki
- Arthur Byron as General Gerald Phillips
- Robert Loraine as Ratcliff
- Frank Darien as Ellsworth
- Stepin Fetchit as "Pacific Gardens" Waiter (uncredited)
The New York Times' Andre Sennwald admired Ketti Gallian:
"Frail, lovely and very quietly over-whelming...a striking addition to the screen's gallery of high-powered ladies. The work in which she appears is an ambitious and interesting story of international intrigue which is better in intention than in actual achievement... (It) tells the strange tale of a stranded French girl who becomes the innocent central figure in a whirling confusion of sabotage and counter-espionage in the Panama Canal Zone. M. Deval's crimson heroine has become a virtuous and extraordinarily naïve girl in the film. Unintentionally shanghaied out of her French seacoast village by a drunken captain of a tramp steamer, Marie finds herself penniless and puzzled in a strange land. Fleeing the ship at Yucatan, she makes her way to the Canal Zone, hoping to find passage back to her native land. Her fantastic and pitiful story meets lifted eyebrows everywhere. To support herself she becomes a singer in a night club which is frequented by mysterious and sinister gentlemen of foreign tongue. Ingenuously she becomes involved with several international plotters, who promise to obtain homeward passage for her in return for certain information about the movements of the American fleet. An American agent (Tracy) who believes her story finally manages to expose a plot to blow up a power plant and disable the fleet. In conception and occasionally in execution this is an arresting melodrama, with a fresh and vivid approach to the materials of espionage. Unfortunately it suffers from several major flaws, which force the photoplay steadily into mediocrity after a fine beginning... Marie Galante asks its audiences to believe that a girl of presumably average intelligence can be the unwitting dupe of various rogues without once suspecting their intentions."
According to the AFI Catalog, legal records reveal that after the American release of the film, "Jacques Deval, author of the novel, served notice on Fox's Paris office that the studio must not use his name in connection with the film on the ground that the story has been 'so thoroughly mutilated and changed that it is not "his work." Deval threatened to institute an injunction if the studio insisted on using his name." The film-credits do cite Deval as the source of the story.
- "Serves Me Right for Treating You Wrong" - performed by Helen Morgan (Music and lyrics by Maurice Sigler, Al Goodhart and Al Hoffman)
- "Song of a Dreamer" (Music by Jay Gorney, lyrics by Don Hartman)
- "Un Peu Beaucoup" (Music by Arthur Lange, lyrics by Marcel Silver)
- "Shim Shammy" (Music and lyrics by Stepin Fetchit)
- "It's Home" (Music by Jay Gorney, lyrics by Jack Yellen)
- "On a Little Side Street" (Music by Harry Akst, lyrics by Bernie Grossman)
- "Je t'adore" (Music by Harry Akst, lyrics by Bernie Grossman)
- Sennwald, Andre (1934-11-21). "International Intrigue in the Canal Zone in M. Deval's "Marie Galante," at the Mayfair". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-20.
- "AFI|Catalog". catalog.afi.com. Retrieved 2020-03-20.