Applause (1929)

Early talkie in which an over-the-hill burlesque singer tries to shelter her convent-raised daughter from the harsh realities of her life. Film debut of director Rouben Mamoulian, who brought tremendous invention to his use of the camera as… More

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Rated: Unrated
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Critic Score: 85% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Geoff Andrew
Time Out

This deeply affecting tale of Stella Dallas-style maternal self-sacrifice transcends its sentimental shortcomings through the fluency of direction that was to become Mamoulian's trademark.

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TIME Magazine

[It is] surprising to find Rouben Mamoulian, recently director of legitimate productions for Manhattan's Theatre Guild, experimenting so weakly with the cinema.

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A true original.

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

Though this is Mamoulian's earliest, it's possibly his freshest film.

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Variety Staff

This is the real old burlesque, in its background, people and atmosphere. So was Beth Brown's book, and Garret Fort has adapted with sufficient fidelity to hold together the odd story that makes an odd picture.

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TV Guide

Poignant though dated, this early talkie is rich in old burlesque backstage atmosphere and has many innovative techniques introduced by Mamoulian in his directorial debut.

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Mordaunt Hall
New York Times

In most cases, however, Mr. Mamoulian commits the unpardonable sin of being far too extravagant. He becomes tedious in his scenes of the convent and there is nothing but viciousness in his stage passages.

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Allen Eyles
Radio Times

This very early talkie should be seen for the heart-rending performance of the legendary stage singer Helen Morgan.

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Fernando F. Croce

Truly kaleidoscopic Úlan

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More reviews for Applause

Flixster Audience Score: 75% Flixster User Reviews
Aj V
The actors are very good, and the story is touching, but it's a predictable and overused plot. So, it's a good movie, but it could have done… More
Walter M.
In "Applause," Thea(Paprika Steen) is just out of rehab and acting in a production of 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' Otherwise, she… More