Sunday, August 03, 2014

Tonight's Movie: Another Dawn (1937) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

ANOTHER DAWN (1937) is quintessential Movie Star filmmaking, showcasing two of Warner Bros.' most unforgettable actors, Kay Francis and Errol Flynn. This beautifully made film is a recent release from the Warner Archive.

Francis stars as Julia, who is mourning for a lost love. Convinced she can never love again, she accepts the marriage proposal of a man she likes and respects, Col. John Wister (Ian Hunter). John knows Julia doesn't love him in a romantic way but is so enamored with her he's willing to marry her on any terms. Julia believes that serving with John at his post in Africa will give her life new purpose.

Julia's plans are upset when she meets John's second-in-command, Captain Denny Roark (Flynn), and they quickly fall head over heels for each other. Julia and Denny both respect John and are too honorable to act on their feelings, so they suffer nobly until one of the men flies off on a fateful mission...

ANOTHER DAWN is a terrific exemplar of Golden Era filmmaking. Let's face it, there will never be stars who command the screen like Flynn and Francis again. Together they define the term "movie star."

Flynn and Francis could carry this film on the basis of their charisma alone, but the production caliber of this brief 73-minute production is top level in every way. The film has a sweeping score by the great Erich Wolfgang Korngold and shimmering black and white cinematography by Tony Gaudio, who filmed many great Warner Bros. dramas of the '30s and '40s.

It's hard to imagine how many trunks Julia must have brought along to Africa, as she seems to have a never-ending supply of Orry-Kelly outfits suitable for any occasion, including a dazzling white evening gown. The amazing costume changes are part of the magic of Kay Francis.

Ian Hunter is fine as the kindly John, with Frieda Inescort as Denny's sister, who secretly loves John. What a tangled web!

The next year Hunter would play King Richard to Flynn's Robin Hood in the evergreen THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938). Herbert Mundin, who played Much the Miller's Son in ROBIN HOOD, appears in ANOTHER DAWN as Col. Wister's orderly.

ANOTHER DAWN was directed by William Dieterle. The story and screenplay by Laird Doyle are said to have been inspired by a Somerset Maugham story, "The Ambassador's Wife."

ANOTHER DAWN is a fine-looking Warner Archive DVD, which includes the trailer.

For another enthused review of this film, please visit a post by Matt Hinrichs at DVD Talk.

Last month I reviewed another Errol Flynn film recently released by the Warner Archive, THE WARRIORS (1955).

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered at the Warner Archive website.


Blogger Kevin Deany said...

On that DVD cover, Errol looks like he and Kay are wearing the same lipstick.

7:41 AM  
Blogger VP81955 said...

Before this film was made, "Another Dawn" was a generic title used by Warners for marquees on its theaters during scenes.

1:37 PM  

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