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Polly of the Circus

Polly of the Circus(1932)

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  • Excellent.

    • riskyb
    • 5/5/17

    Spoilers. Observations. Opinions.This is a nice movie. Gable plays a minister here, yet he portrays a lovable nightclub-owning scoundrel in 1936's San Francisco, in which the clergy is portrayed by Spencer Tracy.Davies does a nice job. She looks good in her circus costume. She also looks good on the circus posters, until on those broadsheets her legs are covered by actual pantaloons and other supposedly ladylike forms of concealment.The minister's church disapproves when Davies recovers from an injury and stays in the parsonage. Davies' character is treated like a fallen woman, because churches hate circuses and gypsies (The Little Minister 1934, anyone?).A 1907 novel preceded all of this malarkey, in which a deacon causes trouble for Polly, not the minister's uncle. There, Polly is a star "circus ridin' girl", who is expert in standing and riding a fast horse around the center ring.In this 1932 film, you can see that the aerialists didn't do their own stunts, naturally. Looking closely at the in-flight footage, I see the unmistakable Alfredo Codona, a very famous real-life trapeze flyer taking the place of Polly's actual male trapeze partner. Codona was the husband of famous aerialist Lillian Leitzel who in 1931 actually fell to her death during a circus show. Leitzel was called "Queen of the Air", and Polly is called that in this film.

  • Featherweight Affair Never Flies

    • Michael Semer
    • 4/21/13

    This may, as far I can recall, be the last (and only) time Clark Gable strapped on a cleric's collar in the movies; even a young Gable has far too much masculine moxie to be all that believable as a man of the cloth. Even a Protestant. It's a lightweight contrivance that was plainly meant as a Marion Davies vehicle, but Gable blows her off the screen in every frame they share. She's likeable, but she doesn't carry the dramatic load nearly as well as she does the comedic, as you can see in her other pictures of this time, and is only a pale presence compared to the future King.

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