- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Grandaddy of Modern Disaster Films?
Before he took the moral high ground, Cecil B. DeMille was a Pre-Code gangster. One look at this movie's poster says it all. It took the threat of censors to keep him from even skimpier costumes and more sexual exploitation. Madam Satan is a pretty awful movie on many levels. Transitional era sound quality, stiff acting and bad dialogue doesn't help, but that second half has to be seen to be believed. It's set on a dirigible with the trippiest of masquerade parties only upstaged by a truly bizarre dance sequence. Things take a bad turn when their ride snaps free and starts what may be the first of the modern disaster film. Everything we've come to expect now from that genre is there. All sprinkled with a few tunes. Not much changes in the 70's with the Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno, Airport, et al, or even 90's on. That's what makes 1930's Madam Satan pretty amazing.
Bizarre and Fascinating!
Much of this is film is a wooden and farcical romance (yawn), BUT the party in the Zeppelin is out of this world! The dance sequence is absolutely extraordinary - Busby Berkeley on acid! Wow! I'll be watching it again just to catch that.
- Reese Rickards
There is a new worst movie ever made, and it's this one. Actors are wooden posts, the dialogue is to laugh at, and the plot is ridiculous. To top it off, when the characters put on parachutes to jump out of their zeppelin they consist only of harness, no chute. Phew!
What a bizarre little gem!
All of these years, glued to movie screens, seeking out the weird & chintzy and I MISSED this one! Oh..wow..I loved it. Who knew 80 years ago people could be so warped! The blimp disaster & subsequent 'sky diving' was fantastic. As a curiosity, I must recommend!
There's only one explanation
- Movie Lady
And it's that the whole outfit - director, actors, writers, costume designers - everybody was on drugs. That being said, however, this movie is weirdly (emphasis on weird) fascinating, if you mute the sound so you don't have to hear the awful singing and dialog. I am thinking of trying to replicate the pheasant costume this Halloween . . . .
it has everything...literally
- don letta
This is a strange early musical that combines farce, romance, music, disaster and repentance, however unevenly, into an interesting mess. Starting slowly and gaining speed in the final half, it offers bland music, grand costuming, and rather good special effects. Too bad they didn't give Lillian Roth more songs to sing and fewer lines to scream.Kay Johnson and Conrad Nagle come off quite uncomfortable in their roles... possibly the weak script. The party scene is the highlight, with costumes and camera work reflecting de Mille's forte.
Not DeMille's Best. Not anyone's best.
- Alan Trethewey
It's easy to say that this movie proves Cecil B DeMille shouldn't have directed a musical, but it was filmed at a time when Hollywood was learning how to produce musicals and so he deserves a bit of credit. The actual plot is very very slow, but the scenes at the party and the final catastrophe deserve a look.