Victoria and Victoria (1933)

Many know Blake Edwards’s 1982 film and the 1995 Broadway production, but few have seen the original 1933 film until now, thanks to this new release by Kino Lorber.

A young woman (Renate Müller) can’t find work as a singer, so she works with a down on his luck actor to revise her act and become a man on stage. Now, Victoria has become Victor, but her life has become even more complicated.

Director Reinhold Schünzel also shot a French-language version of the film as George and Georgette starring Meg Lemonnier and a French cast. Victor Saville directed an English version, First a Girl, in 1935 and there was a West German remake by Karl Anton in 1957. Before the aforementioned Edwards film, there was also the Argentina remake My Girlfriend, the Transvestite.

You can get this on DVD and blu ray from Kino Lorber, along with Mädchen in Uniform, which we covered earlier this week. It comes complete with commentary by film historian Gaylyn Studlar. They sent us a copy and it’s well worth adding to your collection. It taught me that even though I think I know something about film history, there is also something new to discover.

La Llorona (1933)

The first Mexican horror film, this movie is all about the legend of “The Crying Woman.” There’s been a film made about this story every few years and few of them are good. This one at least has some interesting atmosphere and is historically important.

Maria is a woman who has two children and is quite poor, but finds a wealthy man to marry. However, he cares more about the kids than her, so in a jealous rage she drowns them both and kills herself. Now, she’s trapped between life and death, unable to ever stop crying. She can never move to the next plane of existence until she finds her sons.

The film also relates other tales of women who took the lives of their children, all reduced to being crying women as well. Obviously, this movie is very influenced by Universal’s horror movies, yet it isn’t the same level of quality. That said, it’s still worth a view.

You can watch this on YouTube.