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Sep 10, 2021

In this MGM 1937 episode, we look at two star-studded historical romances about charismatic political leaders and their mistresses: Conquest (directed by Clarence Brown), with Charles Boyer's Napoleon Bonaparte and Greta Garbo's Marie Walewska, and Parnell (directed by John Stahl), with Clark Gable's Charles Stewart Parnell and Myrna Loy's Katharine O'Shea. Despite the poor-to-terrible reputations of the films, we find a lot to recommend, from Conquest's surprisingly canny politics to Parnell's gender-inversion of Stahl's fallen woman melodramas. Dave reveals his inner Napoleon fanboy, and Elise shudders at the Gnostic void into which love leads Stahl's protagonists. 


Time Codes:

0h 01m 00s:                  Studio Data

0h 10m 01s:                  CONQUEST [dir. Clarence Brown]        

0h 45m 28s:                  PARNELL [dir. John M. Stahl]

1h 25m 00s:                 Listener mail with Adam


Studio Film Capsules provided by The MGM Story by John Douglas Eames

Additional studio information from: The Hollywood Story by Joel W. Finler



* Marvel at our meticulously ridiculous Complete Viewing Schedule for the 2020s

* Intro Song: “Sunday” by Jean Goldkette Orchestra with the Keller Sisters (courtesy of The Internet Archive)

* Read Elise’s latest film piece on Preston Sturges, Unfaithfully Yours, and the Narrative role of comedic scapegoating.

* Check out Dave’s new Robert Benchley blog – an attempt to annotate and reflect upon as many of the master humorist’s 2000+ pieces as he can locate – Benchley Data: A Wayward Annotation Project! 

*And Read lots of Elise’s Writing at Bright Wall/Dark RoomCléo, and Bright Lights.*

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