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The Trumpet Blows (1934) HD online

The Trumpet Blows (1934) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama
Original Title: The Trumpet Blows
Director: Stephen Roberts
Writers: Bartlett Cormack,Wallace Smith
Released: 1934
Duration: 1h 12min
Video type: Movie
In Mexico, a former bandit settles down and picks out a beautiful young dancer to be his wife. His younger brother also comes home after having spent years in the U.S., and falls in love with his brother's intended fiancé. Rather than cause problems, the younger brother goes to Mexico City to become a matador. While there, he gets word that the police, who have been hunting his brother, have finally captured him.
Cast overview:
George Raft George Raft - Manuel Montes
Adolphe Menjou Adolphe Menjou - Pancho Montes / Pancho Gomez
Frances Drake Frances Drake - Chulita
Sidney Toler Sidney Toler - Pepi Sancho
Edward Ellis Edward Ellis - Chato
Nydia Westman Nydia Westman - Carmela Ramirez
Douglas Wood Douglas Wood - Senor Ramirez
Lillian Elliott Lillian Elliott - Senora Ramirez
Katherine DeMille Katherine DeMille - Lupe the Maid
Francis McDonald Francis McDonald - Vega
Morgan Wallace Morgan Wallace - Police Inspector
Gertrude Norman Gertrude Norman - Grandma Albrentez

One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.

Reviews: [5]

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    This is probably the weakest film George Raft had to make for Paramount. Someone at the studio got it into his thick head that Raft, the Italian/German from Hell's Kitchen, should be playing Latin roles, and this is one of the painful results.

    The plot, if it can be called that, in "The Trumpet Blows" is minor and still makes no sense. The casting is absurd. The movie is set in Mexico without one single legitimate Mexican accent. Though Raft's character Manuel Montes is supposed to have spent several years in the U.S. getting educated, that does not begin to explain a West Side accent. Nor does Adolph Menjou's always-indescribable accent ever fit in, not to mention Frances Drake, Sidney Toler or anyone else.

    There are some very nice atmospheric shots, and footage of real bullfighting. Raft and Drake have some nice bits together. Menjou is entertaining, and not just for his hilariously skinny legs. Drake gets a flashy dance number (before the days when they made women cover their bellybuttons). But overall this is a weak, minor film.

    Sidenote: This is the only film Menjou and Raft did together, but they had "met" back in the 1920s when Menjou was a major Broadway star and Raft had a celebrated dance act in night clubs and Vaudeville. According to Raft, Menjou came in late one night after closing and insisted they drag Raft out of bed to perform the dance number. Raft performed for him, Menjou expressed his appreciation and walked out without giving him a tip for the special performance. When they met up again years later in Hollywood, Raft reminded Menjou he owed him some money.
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    They don't make movies like this any more. Maybe it's just as well, though it's amusing enough, in a 'time capsule' fashion. Adolphe Menjou, George Raft, and Sidney Toler are as unlikely a trio of Mexicans as you're ever likely to see, but then these were the days when you could cast Humphrey Bogart as an Irish stablehand (Dark Victory) and people would accept it. Not a bad timekiller, though you wouldn't want to watch it more than once.
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    'The Trumpet Blows' deserves some credit for sheer nerve, just for casting Adolphe Menjou, George Raft, Sidney Toler and Edward Ellis as Mexicans. Credulity is strained even more by casting Menjou and Raft as brothers.

    Menjou is Pancho Montez, a former bandito (clearly based on Pancho Villa) now living in the town of Corrales under the alias Pancho Gomez. He hopes to marry the beautiful dancer Chulita (wot, no last name?), played by the beauteous and classy Frances Drake.

    Pancho's brother Manuel has been living in the USA (which explains Raft's accent), but now he comes to live with Pancho. Big brother Pancho has a wife all picked out for Manuel, but the latter prefers Chulita. I was expecting the brothers to fight over Chulita. Instead, when Manuel learns the truth, his respect for his brother compels him to leave town to give Pancho a clear field.

    Manuel goes off to Mexico City and, with laughable ease, he becomes a big-league matador. Meanwhile, the police have finally caught up with Pancho. When Manuel learns of this, he rushes back to aid his brother.

    This movie is seriously compromised by the fact that most of the actors are not remotely believable as Mexicans. I especially loathed Nydia Westman, whose twittering voice and smirking face are invariably annoying but who is here more annoying than usual because she's so implausible as a Latina. Al Bridge, whom I usually like, is unbelievable here as a gravel-voiced Mexican constable.

    Katherine DeMille (Cecil B DeMille's adopted daughter, who may genuinely have had some mestiza blood) is plausible, and Frances Drake is superb. Sidney Toler's facial bone structure is really weird: he never quite looks plausible as a caucasian (even though he *was* one), and never quite looked right in Chinese makeup as Charlie Chan. Here, as a mestizo, he looks flat-out ridiculous. I haven't seen so many fake Mexicans since John Garfield, Spencer Tracy, Sheldon Leonard and Frank Morgan donned sombreros and serapes for 'Tortilla Flat'.

    The script and direction in 'The Trumpet Blows' aren't bad, but would have been vastly more effective if this film had been cast with genuine Latino actors. That's not political correctness: I'm just being pragmatic. No movie with Nydia Westman in it will ever get a perfect 10 rating from me, but the other actors work hard in this one. As for George Raft in matador drag ... did somebody mention 'bull'? I'll charitably give this one 6 out of 10.
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    THE TRUMPET BLOWS ...and so does the movie but it can also be amusing, especially if you like the stars. Manuel Montes (George Raft), a New York-educated Mexican (hence the accent), comes home to his brother Pancho's (Adolph Menjou) ranch and finds himself being set up for an arranged marriage but before that can happen, he falls in love with fiery dancer Chulita Valdez (a sultry Frances Drake) not knowing she's his brother's intended. In order not to cause a family rift, Raft runs off to become a famous matador and the usual complications ensue (a goring, Pancho revealed to be a notorious bandito, Manuelito denouncing Chulita) before things come to a head in a Mexico City bullring.

    Frances Drake does a hot rumba and except for a brief spin around the dance floor, she doesn't do it with George -but since this is Pre-Code (albeit the tail end), she does spend the night with him. It's preposterous nonsense for sure and Mexican accents come and go but Georgie looks cute in his matador suit and yes, of course there were Latino actors in Hollywood at the time but, again, Paramount found a project for its star and not the other way around (Raft isn't billed above the title for nothing). Other Hollywood "exotics" in the offbeat (to say the least) cast include Sidney Toler & Katherine De Mille.
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    There's been quite a bit of criticism for The Trumpet Blows and it mostly centers around George Raft and his performance. But the criticism I believe is for the wrong reason.

    One has to remember that George Raft with his sleek and dark looks got his first break in show business as a tango dancer in the tradition of Rudolph Valentino. And when he wears those tight fitting Mexican costumes he looks every inch the part and I'm sure that's what Paramount thought when they cast him.

    The problem is that the second he opened his mouth out came the speech patterns of urban America. Raft was not that good an actor to convince otherwise. Note that Tyrone Power of Irish background born in Cincinnati, Ohio had one of his greatest roles as a Spanish matador in Blood And Sand. No one ever claimed he wasn't Hispanic looking or acting enough.

    Not a Latino in the bunch, but the rest of the cast was all right and that was probably the reason.

    Also the plot was from hunger. We're asked to believe that Raft was young enough to have never found out that his brother Adolphe Menjou was the notorious bandit Pancho Gomez. Menjou and Raft sure don't look that far apart in age. The two act very silly over the lovely Frances Drake who Raft steals from Menjou.

    Of course Menjou was trying to fix Raft up with Nydia Westman. I might have wanted to take some vengeance on him for that.