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Showing posts from June 17, 2013

The Mad Genius (1931) - Michael Curtiz

John Barrymore and Marian Marsh did such a good job in Svengali that they were brought back one more time this year for another feature. John Barrymore continues in his portrayal of a manipulative antagonist that tries to ruin the lives of everyone around him. While the hero is played by Donald Cook and the love interest is Marian Marsh. Both do a great job.

The movie is about a dancer named Fedor and his overbearing guardian and instructor Tsarakov. Tsarakov is a successful ballet instructor that is highly misogynistic and very manipulative. He plays with the lives of his adopted son Fedor and the love interest Nana. He forces them together and forces them apart. He is a tyrannical monster and is the scariest part of the movie.

The acting is pretty over the top, but it is still pretty amazing. John Barrymore is a master. He controls this movie like through and through. I couldn't expect any less from him. What an actor. Donald Cook does a weird job. His performance wasn't ba…