Dixiana DVD is a Real Stunner
Robert M. Fells | Washington, D.C. | 04/18/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Not a classic by any means, the DVD release of DIXIANA allows us to view an early (1930) talkie musical in pristine picture and sound, suggesting how it must of appeared to audiences of that day. Best of all, the last couple of reels have been restored to their original two-strip Technicolor beauty.Bebe Daniela is charming and proves that a silent screen star could effortlessly make the transition to talkies. The male lead is played by Metropolitian Opera star Everett Marshall who displays a fine singing voice but limited acting talent.The real star of this DVD is the stunning picture and sound. The short subject, La Cucharacha, is a nice bonus. While not as sharp as the feature visually, the historic importance of this short compliments DIXIANA nicely. In all, a highly recommended DVD."
Mexico's finest performances
Andres Dominguez | Kansas City, Missouri | 04/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are some who look at the Mexican revolution (1910-1920) as this dramatic and chivalrous moment in Mexican history which would bring land and "libertad" to the neglected masses. In reality the revolution destroyed families, led to the death of thousands and in the end changed very little as the heroes of the revolution didn't live to see their dream become reality. In "La Cucaracha", we experience the revolution from the eyes of Colonel Zeta (Emilio India Fernandez at his machista best), Isabel (Dolores del Rio), a widow who's professor husband is forced into service and La Cucaracha (Maria Felix), a soldadera who portrays one of the strongest female leads in a Mexican movie.In Zeta we have perhaps one of the more powerful male figure trying desperately to keep the revolution going eventhough he has lost most of his men and people have lost interest in fighting. His demeanor is such that strikes fear into men. Zeta in turn is matched up against Maria Felix who is as his female counterpart, is a patriot to the revolution and to whom men hold allegiance to. A love triangle ensues between the two and Isabel. Midway through the movie we see that Zeta isn't really the brute that he has to be. The direction is swift, with some memorable battle conversation surrounding the merits of war. The music is of special note, with revolutionary ballads performed on camera by Cuco Sanchez and others. In a cameo performance there is a memorable performance by Pedro Armendariz. His cantina conversation with Zeta is a classic testosterone machista contra machista. Also appearing is Antonio Aguilar in one of his first roles as a young Capitan under General Carranza. During a dramatic moment he must chose his loyalty between Villa and Carranza. One interesting note, is that the director has chosen not to feature Villa at all. Although his presence is felt throughout the movie. Powerful peformances throughout, a must for fanatics of the above stars. The version I saw was not subtitled. There are so many good Mexican movies that arent seen because of this. A loss too many."
Primitive but fun musical comedy
Musicalia | United Kingdom | 02/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dixiana has been variously described as a 'dog', a 'prehistoric turkey', and worse before now (and that's from people who generally liked it and the people in it!). It's a clunky mix of operetta and vaudeville musical comedy which doesn't quite gel, but is typical of its period right at the dawn of the talking picture.The DVD has been lovingly restored so even the two-strip colour sequence at the end looks pristine. In the cast, Bebe Daniels and Everett Marshall sing well enough - he wasn't a great actor, but never mind - and Wheeler and Woolsey, that talented pair of clowns from RKO's first decade, add their archaic brand of humour between the serious musical bits. Dixiana is far from their best but it is their only movie easily available, so it will have to do."