Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ecstasy (1933)

Ekstase is the opening credit of this film and reminded me of Bo Derek in her film "Bolero".
Czechoslovakian director Gutav Machaty's experimental romantic idyll, replete with soggy symbolism, was a cause celebre upon its release in 1932 due to a lyrical -- and nude-- midnight swim by a young Hedy Lamarr. Lamarr plays Eva, a child bride whose husband shows a singular lack of interest in physical intimacy on their wedding night. Frustrated and searching for a quick roll in the hay to alleviate her sexual tension, Eva offers herself to a roadway engineer. Taking off her clothes, she engages in a leisurely swim. But when a horse bolts with her duds, she gives chase, running smack into the engineer, who calmly hands her clothes to her. The two plan to run away together, but when her husband commits suicide in despair, she decides not to leave. Some time afterward, Eva is seen with a happy and contented look upon her face, the result of her secret liaison being the little baby in her arms. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 89 mins
Ecstasy (1933)
Although it was excruciatingly long in some scenes with repeats over and over of the same small clip, it was short enough to be enjoyable. Basically it gives the whole movie away including the ending in this commentary. The dialogue was not even more than a silent movie, which makes me wonder if the script was written for a silent movie. Not sure why the lovers could not have ended up together since the husband had already committed suicide.

I do disagree with the film critic {Paul} in that Eva was looking for a roll in the hay, but honestly fell in love when even her husband had admitted that the marriage was a mistake and that they had nothing in common. Which makes me wonder if he committed suicide for other reasons than being jilted by a lover. Pride and conceit seems more likely.

Hedy Lamarr was very much on the thin side but it was funny to see all the nude scenes of her running around {at a distance}. But I would not call the lake scene midnight, since the surveyor and his crew were still working.

Overall an excellent film, although I am sure some of the scenic as well as montage scenes would have been a lot nicer if done in color. The film quality was fair but had quite a few scratches and specks.

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