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I was delighted by this little known film about a successful and talented woman entertainer before the time of film-making. A popular and alluring entertainer, according to her biography (which is an extra on this film) with surprising results. There were a number of things about the original Lillian Russell character that were played down in the film for some reason. This i found somewhat disappointing because it would have been nice to see more of her daring eccentricity, versatility and more of her entertaining potential instead of just swooning deep melodies by the luscious Alice Faye (and of her 4 marriages).
The film was beautifully led by Alice Faye though, who is a star in her own right and who shines like the classy madonna she is; very beautifully and alluringly entertaining, but this seems to almost misplay the character of the true Lillian Russell. They have their own styles that don't seem quite to match. The plot was also somewhat adjusted to disclude her first child and husband from the picture all together which is a tragedy significant to impact anyone's life story. Regardless, I did not find this story boring like other watchers. Instead I found a delightful classic: a surprisingly gentle and pleasant tale conserving the memory of a fading star. In doing so, it drew someone like me, of generations separated, to gain some insight and appreciation for a lady of an age where women were just beginning to arise in society to a more reasonable social compatibility.
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