Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Last Days of Pompeii (1935)

The Last Days of Pompeii is a 1935 film starring Preston Foster, Basil Rathbone and Alan Hale, Sr. There is a disclaimer at the beginning of the film saying that the volcanic eruption and the film's title are the only things owed to Bulwer-Lytton's book. I like it, but I like everything Alan Hale, Sr. is in.

You can see two clips at this TCM link, but I don't know how to embed them here.

Our DVD version is a bare bones release. It does have chapters and English/French/Spanish subtitles but nothing in the way of special features.

The New York Times has a mixed review, saying, "Although it is persuasively staged and excitingly narrated, the work is rather more absorbing in its straightforward melodrama than in the later phases when the defiant gladiator is getting religion" and
This is, in fact, an ably managed historical work up to the time when it begins to bludgeon the moral and to drag in a foolish little romance between the ex-gladiator's adopted son and one of the slaves whom he is bent on rescuing from the arena.

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