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Confession (1937)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 28 August 1937 (USA)
Aging down on her luck cabaret singer murders a respectable composer. On trial she slowly gives in and explains her crime. They had a complicated history.

Director:

Joe May

Writers:

Hans Rameau (original screenplay), Julius J. Epstein (English adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kay Francis ... Vera Kowalska
Ian Hunter ... Leonide Kirow
Basil Rathbone ... Michael Michailow
Jane Bryan ... Lisa Koslov
Donald Crisp ... Presiding Judge
Mary Maguire ... Hildegard
Dorothy Peterson ... Mrs. Koslov
Laura Hope Crews ... Stella
Robert Barrat ... Prosecuting Attorney
Ben Welden ... Defense Attorney
Veda Ann Borg ... Xenia
Joan Valerie ... Wanda (as Helen Valkis)
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Storyline

It's 1930 in a European metropolis. Lisa Koslov, a young, innocent woman, is a student of piano at the city's music conservatory. She is without her mother for a few days for the first time in her life, her mother, out of town on family business, who she cannot turn to at this time for advice in dealing with the advances of an older man, who she will learn is famed composer/conductor/pianist Michael Michailow. Despite not feeling that spending time with Michael is the right thing, she is unable to fend off his advances, which he is able to manipulate to his advantage. Lisa is on a night out at a cabaret with Michael when the cabaret's aging singer, Vera Kowalska, spots Lisa and Michael in the audience, Vera who shoots Michael dead before he and Lisa can leave. At Vera's murder trial where Lisa is among the eyewitnesses testifying for the prosecution, Vera readily admits that she shot Michael, but she will not talk otherwise to defend herself by providing justifying reasons for her ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

28 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

One Hour of Romance See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$513,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Joe May was so determined to make this a close remake of the German film Mazurka (1935) that he kept a print of "Mazurka" on the set and frequently ran sections of it, to the annoyance of the new film's cast. In addition to copying the German original shot-by-shot in many scenes, this film also reuses the original score and songs. See more »

Goofs

The date on the Warsaw Opera House playbill is Wednesday, February 12, 1912. That day was actually a Monday. See more »

Quotes

Vera Kowalska: What do you all want of me? I killed him. Sentence me.
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Connections

Remake of Mazurka (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Mazurka
(1935) (uncredited)
from Mazurka (1935)
Music by Peter Kreuder
English lyrics by Jack Scholl
Performed by Basil Rathbone in the concert (piano dubbed by Max Rabinowitz)
Also performed by Kay Francis
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User Reviews

 
A delightful forgotten classic re-discovered.
20 December 2000 | by mark.waltzSee all my reviews

I am happy to see that other members of this board have discovered this film as well. I have been a Kay Francis fan for some time, and truly believe she was far underrated during her time. Many of her films follow the same mold, but there are a dozen or so which stand on their own. This was the film which first attracted me to her as a fan, and I was delighted by many of the films she did, particularly at Warner Brothers where she was "Queen of the Lot" for several years before Bette Davis. "Confession" ranks with "One Way Passage" and "Jewel Robbery" as her best films at Warner Brothers, although there are several "camp classics" as "Mandalay" and "Stolen Holiday". Although never nominated for an Academy Award, Francis certainly could have been a contender for "One Way Passage", "Trouble in Paradise", "Confession", and "In Name Only". "Confession" is probably her meatiest assignment: coming on as a woman of questionable virtue who shoots Basil Rathbone then has to reveal her reasoning without allowing the public to find out. In her blonde Dietrich like wig, Francis makes the audience aware that this is a worn woman, like Dietrich in "Blonde Venus", and in flashbacks, we get to see where she has gone, from a top singing diva to a tired cafe performer. I was riveted to the TV from the moment that Francis appeared until her sad but hopeful fadeout at the end. Jane Bryan, too, is very good as the young girl Basil Rathbone wants to take advantage of, and had she not left films to get married, she would have had a very promising career. In smaller roles, Laura Hope Crews and Ian Hunter are fine, and as the villain, Basil Rathbone is wonderfully hissable. Of course there will be the ultimate "Madame X" comparisons, but this film has enough style of its own to stand apart from the Fannie Hurst classic (filmed the same year with Gladys George).


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