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Champagne 1928 Black & White. 82 minutes. 4:3 aspect ratio. Silent with musical score. Now, for the first time - "Champagne" on DVD! Betty (Betty Balfour), rebellious, spoiled daughter of a millionaire (Gordon Harker), decides to marry the penniless Jean, against her father's will. She runs away to France and she starts living a life of luxury on the profits from her father's champagne business. The rich man decides to put a stop to her behavior by pretending his business crashed. Betty now has to find money by herself and she gets a job in a night club.
Review from Variety: September 12, 1928: "If J.D. Williams is going to release British Pictures in America he will have to get some better than this. The story is of the weakest, an excuse for covering 7,000 feet of harmless celluloid with legs and close-ups. Be a female star ever so good, and Betty Balfour is not even seen here at her best - no audience is going to stand for nine-tenths of a film being devoted to her doing nothing in particular. That's what happens here, with no other woman in the cast, and three men who are indeterminate in character and badly directed... Gordon Harker is supposed to be a "Champagne King," whatever that is, but the film shows him, both in action and captains as a character of Hollywood's idea of a successful New York businessman. His daughter wants to marry a boulevard cake-eater, and poppa disagrees. The boyfriend gets sore at Betty taking a high hand just because poppa has dough and she gets sore at him for getting sore, throws him down, and plays around with a nasty-looking middle-ager. In Paris she throws wild parties. Then father tells her he's broke, so they go to live in a hovel while she goes to work in a cabaret to keep the home fires burning. Technically - setting, photography and lighting - it's as good as they come. But the story, the direction and the acting are dire. Betty Balfour has a thankless role and far too many close-ups. As champagne, it's the kind of wine they sell to boobs in Soho."
Well, it's not the greatest Hitchcock, but it is Hitchcock... and no serious Hitchcock collection can be without this first ever DVD of Champagne. This Hitchcock classic is in the public domain. Also featuring Jean Bradin, Theodore Van Alten, Jack Trevor, Sunday Wilshin, Claude Hulbert. British International Pictures. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Based on a story by Walter Mycroft and Alfred Hitchcock. DVD $30. US shipping $.99 first class or $5.10 priority. Outside US $3 for air.
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