Walter Wanger's Vogues of 1938:Terrible movie or greatest title ever? So, it seems that in 1938, one Walter Wanger wanted to produce a movie, musical and fashion show, all in one technicolor package. He got Warren Baxter and Joan Bennett, some musical numbers, and went nuts.
Bennett is a penniless society playgirl marrying a rich stiff for his money. Baxter (a kind of Walter Huston strong, older man type) runs the fashion house that is running up her trousseau. She decides not to get married, but to work as his model, and, considering the publicity, he figures it is worth it. Now if only his silly wife would drop out of the picture...
Bennett's pure mercenary house-wrecking is rather daring. Other than that, the movie is pretty much pure spectacle: color, fashion, music. We get to visit the Cotton Club of Harlem, and El Maroc, and it all ends in a musical fashion show. I had been expecting something from Poverty Row, but this was definitely prestige. Max Factor invented a special cake makeup for the panchromatic film stock - it became known as pan-cake makeup. True story.
I had never heard of Walter Wanger before, but he produced a bunch of movies - from the Marx Bros. The Cocoanuts to Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra. He made Winter Carnival, the movie mascot of my alma mater. Good for him.
In conclusion, if the stars, the technicolor, the music, the fashion doesn't attract you to this, there is one more thing: Mischa Auer.