***We're looking for contributors***

         

Victor Varconi: Articles


Cecil B. DeMille Risqué 'Chicago' DVD: Phyllis Haver a Fantastic Roxie Hart

Chicago, the restored 1927 silent (unofficially) directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring perky Phyllis Haver (right, with Victor Varconi) as Roxie Hart, is being released on DVD by Flicker Alley, in collaboration with The Blackhawk Films Collection. The 2002 Chicago remake, based on Bob Fosse's musical which itself was taken from Maurine Watkins' stage play, starred Renée Zellweger (as Roxie), Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere. It was a good-sized box office and critical hit. Directed by Rob Marshall from a screenplay by Bill Condon (who'll next be directing The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), Chicago won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress (Zeta-Jones). I'm probably in the minority here, but I thought the Chicago remake was […]


Continue reading:

Cecil B. DeMille Risqué 'Chicago' DVD: Phyllis Haver a Fantastic Roxie Hart



'The Volga Boatman': Cecil B. DeMille Compelling Drama with Future Cowboy William Boyd

The Cecil B. DeMille epic The Volga Boatman should be book-ended with DeMille's 1929 drama The Godless Girl. Both tell compelling stories without a clear, definite point of view. Picture it: Russia right before the Bolshevik revolution. The peasants are seething against the ruling class. We see workers slaving to haul a boat to the river. They are starving and oppressed. Along comes the handsome Prince Dimitri (Victor Varconi) and his intended bride, Princess Verna (Elinor Fair). The Prince looks at the peasants with scorn and disgust, but Verna isn't so smug. In fact, she eyes one of the men with barely contained lust. The object of her attention is the manly Feodor (William Boyd). He practically glows with his […]


Continue reading:

'The Volga Boatman': Cecil B. DeMille Compelling Drama with Future Cowboy William Boyd



'Chicago' Movie: Superlative Phyllis Haver Helps Original Far Surpass Oscar-Winning Musical

"I hope you enjoyed your trip back to a more innocent time,” said presenter Randy Haberkamp to a packed house last night following the screening of the 1928 Chicago at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. This latest installment of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Lost and Found” series, presented in conjunction with the UCLA Film and Television Archive 13th Festival of Preservation, was a major production – they even had Johnny Crawford and His Orchestra accompanying the film. However, like so many of Cecil B. DeMille's own mega-spectacles, the event was impressive to behold while feeling somewhat off the mark. The chief culprit was, oddly enough, Crawford's orchestra. Although the musicians did a thoroughly professional […]


Continue reading:

'Chicago' Movie: Superlative Phyllis Haver Helps Original Far Surpass Oscar-Winning Musical