Madam Satan  

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"Is Madam Satan a good movie? No. Will it bore you? Not if you can appreciate the suave verbal legerdemain of Roland Young during the first half, before the aerial outrageousness begins. Will you remember Madam Satan? Probably as long as you can enjoy the sheer audacity of Depression-era Hollywood.--filmfax"

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Madam Satan (1930) was produced and directed by Cecil B. DeMille as a musical drama for MGM, one of the few films DeMille made for the Culver City studio. It has been called one of the oddest films DeMille made and certainly one of the oddest films MGM made during its "golden age." The Brazilian drag queen Madame Satã base her persona on the female protagonist of this film.



The zeppelin sequences were originally filmed in Technicolor. The film, however, was released in black and white due to the backlash against musicals which made the extra expense of color superfluous. The same thing occurred with another MGM musical, Children of Pleasure (1930), whose color sequences were similarly released in black and white. The original color sequences to "Madam Satan" no longer exist.


Angela Brooks (Kay Johnson) discovers that her husband Bob (Reginald Denny) is cheating on her with another woman, Trixie (Lillian Roth). Learning that her husband intends to go to a costume ball on a moored dirigible in New York City, Angela disguises herself and attempts to "vamp" her husband. During the ball there are a number of exotic musical numbers. At the climax, a thunderstorm causes the dirigible to break lose and everyone is forced to parachute into the reservoir in Central Park.




The original black and white release print is extant. The original Technicolor sequences exist only in this black and white copy.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Madam Satan" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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