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REACHING FOR THE MOON
This glorious Art Deco cocktail talkie from 1930 is possibly one of the top three masterpieces of set design of the early talkie era. An student of film set and costume design for this period - and any snazzy modernist look will alternately swoon, scream, almost faint and want to large-print every scene and set of what I celebrate as a sensational art deco dazzler. Produced in 1930and reflecting the wealthy marble chrome and velvet of the zenith of 1929 jazz design REACHING FOR THE MOON is a sumptuous feast for the eyes. Even in the gasp worthy shortened version I goggled at, it rates an 8 for the visuals alone. It would rate a perfect 10 out of 10 only if it were the full version with the obviously deleted scenes and songs. On the big screen of a twinkling deco palace and in a 35mm print this film must have had depression audiences feasting... and for the rest of us 76 years later we can only slump in deco-exhaustion at the deliciousness of every frame. Then there is a lovely story, well realised and well scripted of a big rich boisterous dude realising the depth of emotional wealth of a modern woman and the love possible. Gorgeous Bebe Daniels and robust virile Fairbanks share some genuinely moving and very believable on deck scenes as the ocean liner reaches port and post Wall St crash of 29 reality.
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