The Mad Genius (1931)

Feature Film | Drama | USA | English | 1h21m
Dir: Michael Curtiz | Scr: J. Grubb Alexander & Harvey Thew | Play: Martin Brown | Ph: Barney McGill | Ed: Ralph Dawson | AD: Anton Grot | Cast: John Barrymore, Marian Marsh, Charles Butterworth, Donald Cook, Luis Alberni, Carmel Myers, André Luguet, Frankie Darro

A clubfooted frustrated dancer manipulatively moulds an athletic young boy, whom he kidnapped from an abusive father, into the ballet superstar that he wishes he could have been, but fails to control him when love’s young dream captures his heart, in Curtiz’s stylish melodrama. Inventively expressive mise en scène, striking deep-focus photography, and some deliciously full-blooded performances combine well, but a rather rushed-feeling ending and some generally illogical plotting detract somewhat.