BECKY SHARP (1935) C 83m dir: Rouben Mamoulian

w/Miriam Hopkins, Frances Dee, Cedric Hardwicke, Billie Burke, Alison Skipworth, Nigel Bruce, Alan Mowbray, Colin Tapley, G.P. Huntley Jr., William Stack

From Variety's contemporary review of the film: "The first full-length talker in highly improved Technicolor, cinematographically it's a tribute to the new process and to [art director] Robert Edmond Jones's beautiful splashes of multitone visual values. The pastel shades of the interior properties, the faithful reproduction even of the femmes' makeup, the gay carnival splashes of color such as that in the Brussels waltz-quadrille scene (climaxed by Napoleon's Waterloo return) impress optically, but the story falls flat dramatically and the dialog is likewise fraught with too much discordant stridency of tone.

"Miriam Hopkins at times fairly shrieks her way through the footage [based on Thackeray's Vanity Fair and the play by Langdon Mitchell]. She's basically handicapped by a negative characterization. As the calculating Becky, her role of a temptress is neither lurid nor winsome. It's a wishy-washy compromise of a gamin who annexes a sextet of masculine conquests, with the character not sufficiently definite to impress her as a great siren.

"With the exceptions of G.P. Huntley, Jr., Nigel Bruce and Cedric Hardwicke, none of the support is particularly distinguished nor has it opportunity for distinction."

From The Movie Guide: "Landmark technicolor, but otherwise very flat indeed. Third version of Vanity Fair was a troubled production with original director Lowell Sherman dying, Mamoulian starting over. Hopkins always excelled at predatory roles, but unless flawlessly scripted and sat on by a director, her characterizations invariably went over the top. Watch if you want to see her play to the second balcony, otherwise be on the lookout for rare 1932 version with Myrna Loy. BECKY SHARP wasn't fine enough to make everyone race to film in color: it would take four more years with three mammoth MGM successes --- GONE WITH THE WIND and THE WIZARD OF OZ among them --- before it started to really take off."

Mamoulian, long considered a master of the musical genre, also directed the wonderful films LOVE ME TONIGHT, GOLDEN BOY, and SILK STOCKINGS.

Hopkins was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for BECKY SHARP.