Oh… Henri Bataille, not Georges Bataille.
So I guess that after the success of the Henry VIII movie, Korda wanted to keep the money rolling in by doing another movie also called “The Private Life of…”, but this time with another sexual rapscallion. (Because that’s how he portrayed Henry, and not as a homicidal lunatic.)
This is Douglas Fairbanks’ final movie — he was only fifty here, but he died five years later. Casting him as a very aging Don Juan almost on his death bed is a bit on the nose.
The gag in this movie is that none of the hot women want to have sex with him when he’s undercover and they don’t know that he’s Don Juan.
As plots go, it’s a plot.
This movie bombed at the box office, and the critics hated it. But… I’m quite enjoying this? It’s not a masterpiece or anything, but it’s a charming movie. Fairbanks is great, and it’s a really pretty movie.
I understand why this wasn’t as big a success as The Private Life of Henry VIII — that’s a movie that really flatters the audience — but I think it’s a much better movie.
That said, it’s not actually fabulous, so:
The Private Life of Don Juan. Alexander Korda. 1934.
This blog post is part of the Eclipse series.