I Am Suzanne! (1934)

85 or 99-100 mins | Drama, Musical | 5 January 1934

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HISTORY

Working titles for this film were Puppets and Puppet Show . The print viewed was tinted. IP described the marionettes in the film as "The Mussolini sponsored Piccoli Marionettes, Italy's greatest theatrical troupe, nearly two hundred years old." According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Fred M. Herzig and Hector Turnbull wrote a story entitled Puppet Show , which they sold to Fox, and S. N. Behrman produced a continuity based on the story, but none of that material was used for this film. Some reviews and the copyright entry list the title without the explanation point. According to a HR news item, Lilian Harvey broke her toe after a fall from a tightrope during pre-production. Because of this, the puppet show was shot at the beginning of the shooting schedule rather than at the end. According to DV , a preview on 15 Dec 1933 in Westwood Village was 115 minutes. In New York, the Radio City Music Hall showings beginning 18 Jan 1934 were 99 minutes, according to Var , and Har lists the film's running time as 100 minutes. Later in Jan 1934, the MPH release chart lists the running time as 85 ... More Less

Working titles for this film were Puppets and Puppet Show . The print viewed was tinted. IP described the marionettes in the film as "The Mussolini sponsored Piccoli Marionettes, Italy's greatest theatrical troupe, nearly two hundred years old." According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Fred M. Herzig and Hector Turnbull wrote a story entitled Puppet Show , which they sold to Fox, and S. N. Behrman produced a continuity based on the story, but none of that material was used for this film. Some reviews and the copyright entry list the title without the explanation point. According to a HR news item, Lilian Harvey broke her toe after a fall from a tightrope during pre-production. Because of this, the puppet show was shot at the beginning of the shooting schedule rather than at the end. According to DV , a preview on 15 Dec 1933 in Westwood Village was 115 minutes. In New York, the Radio City Music Hall showings beginning 18 Jan 1934 were 99 minutes, according to Var , and Har lists the film's running time as 100 minutes. Later in Jan 1934, the MPH release chart lists the running time as 85 minutes. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 Dec 33
p. 3.
Harrison's Reports
27 Jan 34
p. 14.
HF
16 Sep 33
p. 3.
HF
4 Nov 33
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 33
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Dec 33
p. 2.
International Photographer
1 Jan 34
p. 17.
Motion Picture Herald
27 Jan 34
p. 44.
New York Times
19 Jan 34
p. 24.
Variety
23 Jan 34
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story and scr
Story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Settings
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
MUSIC
DANCE
Dance dir
St. Moritz Puppet Revue and Inferno Revue by
PRODUCTION MISC
Podrecca's Piccoli Marionettes by arrangement with
SOURCES
SONGS
"Just a Little Garrett," "Oh How I've Sinned," "One Word," "Rainy Day," "St. Moritz Waltz," "Wooden Woman" and "Esk-i-O-Lay Li-O-Mo," music by Frederick Hollander, lyrics by Forman Brown.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Puppet Show
Puppets
Release Date:
5 January 1934
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 25 December 1933
Production Date:
16 September--early November 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
20 December 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4403
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
85 or 99-100
Length(in feet):
8,959
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

When only seven people come to the Theatre des Marionettes in Paris, puppeteer Tony Malatini visits the theater on the corner to see why crowds are attracted to his competitor. After viewing a performance by the popular dancer Suzanne, whose decisions are all made by her manager, called the Baron, Tony secretly meets Suzanne backstage and gets her permission to make a puppet based on her. The Baron, who imperially proclaims "I am Suzanne," finds Tony there, and after castigating Suzanne, threatens to turn her free. Terrified of being on her own, Suzanne quickly agrees to marry the Baron if he will stay with her. During her performance, Suzanne goes into the audience and Tony implores her not to marry the Baron. Greatly upset, Suzanne falls into the orchestra pit and injures herself. Weeks later, as the prognosis on whether she will dance again is pessimistic, the Baron prepares to make another dancer into a star. Tony convinces a doctor to help Suzanne, and as she goes through a vigorous exercise program with Tony's assistance, she also learns to be a puppeteer. They become close, and Tony explains his somewhat unusual attitude towards his puppets: they are his true friends, he says, he talks to them and still reveres the puppet of his first love, a chorus girl. When he then tells Suzanne resignedly that he will still have the puppet he has made of her when she leaves him, she is perplexed. After Suzanne is able to walk again, Tony kisses her, but immediately apologizes. Although confused and jealous of Tony's puppet of her, Suzanne helps Tony put on a vastly successful show with ... +


When only seven people come to the Theatre des Marionettes in Paris, puppeteer Tony Malatini visits the theater on the corner to see why crowds are attracted to his competitor. After viewing a performance by the popular dancer Suzanne, whose decisions are all made by her manager, called the Baron, Tony secretly meets Suzanne backstage and gets her permission to make a puppet based on her. The Baron, who imperially proclaims "I am Suzanne," finds Tony there, and after castigating Suzanne, threatens to turn her free. Terrified of being on her own, Suzanne quickly agrees to marry the Baron if he will stay with her. During her performance, Suzanne goes into the audience and Tony implores her not to marry the Baron. Greatly upset, Suzanne falls into the orchestra pit and injures herself. Weeks later, as the prognosis on whether she will dance again is pessimistic, the Baron prepares to make another dancer into a star. Tony convinces a doctor to help Suzanne, and as she goes through a vigorous exercise program with Tony's assistance, she also learns to be a puppeteer. They become close, and Tony explains his somewhat unusual attitude towards his puppets: they are his true friends, he says, he talks to them and still reveres the puppet of his first love, a chorus girl. When he then tells Suzanne resignedly that he will still have the puppet he has made of her when she leaves him, she is perplexed. After Suzanne is able to walk again, Tony kisses her, but immediately apologizes. Although confused and jealous of Tony's puppet of her, Suzanne helps Tony put on a vastly successful show with puppets look like celebrities, but when Tony, during a celebration, has his puppets announce that he is going to marry Suzanne, she forcefully states "I am Suzanne!" and says that she will no longer be anyone's puppet. She then shoots the puppet that resembles her. Although broken in spirit, Suzanne goes back to dancing for the Baron, and Tony's show faces failure. After a theatrical manager hires both Tony's puppets and Suzanne for a show in which they will compete against one another, Suzanne, who cannot dance because of her mental anguish, has a dream in which the puppet community puts her on trial as an unbeliever. She wakes as she is being strangled in a spider's web and then apologizes to Tony, saying that she did not mean to hurt the puppets. Tony confesses his love for Suzanne and vows to show the world that a puppet is nothing but a lump of wood. Their combined show, in which Suzanne's puppet transforms into Suzanne, is a huge success. +

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

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