Famous People at Play (film #30 in the Documentary section of Movieflix). [Category: Hollywood]

I expected this newsreel featurette, made in 1935, to be filled with footage of Hollywood stars in relaxed moments. There's some of that, but it's really more of a general survey of famous people from the 30s, including sports heros and European royalty. Most poignant are the scenes of the royal figures pursuing various sports and recreational activities, seemingly unconscious of the looming shadow of WWII. Most amusing is a scene of W. C. Fields goofing around on trapeze rings, obviously being held up from the bottom. This is a lot better than I thought it would be. It has a great deal of historical interest, particularly in terms of it being a snapshot of pre-war Europe.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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