The Private Life of Don Juan (1934)

80 or 92 mins | Romance | 30 November 1934

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HISTORY

Henry Bataille's play was adapted by Lawrence Langer for the New York stage. It is not known if the film used this English version as well as the French original. The working titles of the film were Exit Don Juan and The Return of Don Juan . Biographical sources note that Don Juan was a real person named Miguel de Manara. The Private Life of Don Juan marked Douglas Fairbanks' return to the screen after a two-year absence and was his final motion picture. His previous picture was the 1932 United Artists release Mr. Robinson Crusoe (see below). According to modern sources, producer-director Alexander Korda engaged Fairbanks and began looking for a role that would return him to major productions. In advertisements, the film was billed as Fairbanks' comeback picture. The Var review commented that Fairbanks had perhaps taken a part "beyond his years" and added that this "miscasting" was the picture's "primary economic shortcoming." Modern sources claim that the film was a commercial failure, and Fairbanks retired once again from the screen after its release. He later died in 1939.
       John Brownlee, who is listed onscreen with the credit "songs by," sang all but one of the songs in the picture; Binnie Barnes sang the other. A HR production chart adds Flora Robson, Miki Hood and Hay Petrie to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources list Robert Krasker as assistant photographer. Among the many film versions of the Don Juan legend are Warner Bros.' 1926 production Don Juan , ... More Less

Henry Bataille's play was adapted by Lawrence Langer for the New York stage. It is not known if the film used this English version as well as the French original. The working titles of the film were Exit Don Juan and The Return of Don Juan . Biographical sources note that Don Juan was a real person named Miguel de Manara. The Private Life of Don Juan marked Douglas Fairbanks' return to the screen after a two-year absence and was his final motion picture. His previous picture was the 1932 United Artists release Mr. Robinson Crusoe (see below). According to modern sources, producer-director Alexander Korda engaged Fairbanks and began looking for a role that would return him to major productions. In advertisements, the film was billed as Fairbanks' comeback picture. The Var review commented that Fairbanks had perhaps taken a part "beyond his years" and added that this "miscasting" was the picture's "primary economic shortcoming." Modern sources claim that the film was a commercial failure, and Fairbanks retired once again from the screen after its release. He later died in 1939.
       John Brownlee, who is listed onscreen with the credit "songs by," sang all but one of the songs in the picture; Binnie Barnes sang the other. A HR production chart adds Flora Robson, Miki Hood and Hay Petrie to the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. Modern sources list Robert Krasker as assistant photographer. Among the many film versions of the Don Juan legend are Warner Bros.' 1926 production Don Juan , which starred John Barrymore and was directed by Alan Crosland (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ), and Warner Bros.' 1948 remake, Adventures of Don Juan , which starred Errol Flynn and was directed by Vincent Sherman. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
15 Nov 34
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 34
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 34
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 34
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
22 Sep 34
p. 43.
New York Times
10 Dec 34
p. 16.
Variety
18 Dec 34
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story and dial
Story and dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Settings
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
SET DECORATOR
Architect
COSTUMES
Cost [supplied by]
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus compositions
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play L'homme à la Rose by Henry Bataille (Paris, 5 Dec 1920).
SONGS
"The Don Juan Serenade," music and lyrics by Mischa Spoliansky
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Return of Don Juan
Exit Don Juan
Release Date:
30 November 1934
Premiere Information:
Great Britain opening: September 1934
Production Date:
at Elstree Studios, England
Copyright Claimant:
London Film Productions, Ltd.
Copyright Date:
14 December 1934
Copyright Number:
LP5176
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80 or 92
Length(in reels):
10
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In the Spanish town of Seville, flowers are thrown to neglected women on balconies, spreading the rumor that the infamous womanizer, Don Juan, is in town. As husbands lock their wives indoors, a doctor advises the sickly Don Juan to visit fewer balconies. Don Juan is trying to escape his wife Dolores, who had him jailed for his debts. Although she only wants him to apologize for his infidelities, Don Juan is determined that Dolores will be the one woman he will resist. His servant, Leporello, is conniving with Dolores to turn his master toward quiet living and a diet of healthy food. When an imitator of Don Juan calls on him to learn the final trick of seduction, he reveals that he played "Don Juan" in town the night before. As Don Juan's attentions are regarded as good luck, two dancers, Antonita and Pepita, compete for him. Antonita claims victory when Don Juan pledges he did not kiss Pepita as she had been deceived by his imitator. Catching a ride home on a cabbage cart, the weary Don Juan begins to question whether a woman is worth even a three minute walk. Later, the imitator is killed in a duel with Don Alfredo, a jealous husband, and Don Juan decides to take advantage of the incident and pretend he is dead. He attends his own funeral, where dozens of ladies mourn the fact that they will never meet him. Then, Antonita and Pepita brawl over who was truly the lover of Don Juan. Using the name Captain Mariano, a soldier "retired from service," Don Juan takes a six-month ... +


In the Spanish town of Seville, flowers are thrown to neglected women on balconies, spreading the rumor that the infamous womanizer, Don Juan, is in town. As husbands lock their wives indoors, a doctor advises the sickly Don Juan to visit fewer balconies. Don Juan is trying to escape his wife Dolores, who had him jailed for his debts. Although she only wants him to apologize for his infidelities, Don Juan is determined that Dolores will be the one woman he will resist. His servant, Leporello, is conniving with Dolores to turn his master toward quiet living and a diet of healthy food. When an imitator of Don Juan calls on him to learn the final trick of seduction, he reveals that he played "Don Juan" in town the night before. As Don Juan's attentions are regarded as good luck, two dancers, Antonita and Pepita, compete for him. Antonita claims victory when Don Juan pledges he did not kiss Pepita as she had been deceived by his imitator. Catching a ride home on a cabbage cart, the weary Don Juan begins to question whether a woman is worth even a three minute walk. Later, the imitator is killed in a duel with Don Alfredo, a jealous husband, and Don Juan decides to take advantage of the incident and pretend he is dead. He attends his own funeral, where dozens of ladies mourn the fact that they will never meet him. Then, Antonita and Pepita brawl over who was truly the lover of Don Juan. Using the name Captain Mariano, a soldier "retired from service," Don Juan takes a six-month vacation. Peddlers sell biographies of Don Juan to all the women, depicting him as a hero and a cad. Tiring of his sedate existence, Don Juan declares his true identity to a tavern wench, Rosita, only to be ridiculed. Later, he is attracted to a girl in a carriage and, after obtaining her castle address, climbs a wall to see her. Again his old lines fail; she merely wants him to convey a message to her lover and sends him into the rain. After Don Juan returns to his lodgings, the middle-aged proprietress of the inn proposes to him, causing him to remember suddenly that he is married. Don Juan goes home to Seville but is rejected by Antonita, who now favors a rich duke. Actors, actresses and a playwright quarrel as they prepare a drama about Don Juan. On opening night, Don Juan interrupts the performance to declare that he is alive, but is laughed at and told he is the twenty-third person to make such a claim. Even Dolores denies him, though she does take him home from the police station. As Leporello looks on, Dolores makes Don Juan return to her by climbing a ladder to her balcony. Upon reuniting, she tells him, "Every woman wants more than a husband. Every woman wants Don Juan for herself." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.