Applause (1929) - Rotten Tomatoes

Applause (1929)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Applause Photos

Movie Info

Early talkie in which an over-the-hill burlesque singer tries to shelter her convent-raised daughter from the harsh realities of her life. Film debut of director Rouben Mamoulian, who brought tremendous invention to his use of the camera as well as an innovative approach to sound.


Helen Morgan
as Kitty Darling
Joan Peers
as April Darling
Fuller Mellish
as Hitch Nelson
Fuller Mellish Jr.
as Hitch Nelson
Jack Cameron
as Joe King
Dorothy Cumming
as Mother Superior
Jack Singer
as Producer
Paul Barrett
as Slim Lamont
View All

Critic Reviews for Applause

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (6)

This deeply affecting tale of Stella Dallas-style maternal self-sacrifice transcends its sentimental shortcomings through the fluency of direction that was to become Mamoulian's trademark.

April 7, 2016 | Full Review…

Though this is Mamoulian's earliest, it's possibly his freshest film.

April 7, 2016 | Full Review…

In most cases, however, Mr. Mamoulian commits the unpardonable sin of being far too extravagant. He becomes tedious in his scenes of the convent and there is nothing but viciousness in his stage passages.

April 7, 2016 | Full Review…

[It is] surprising to find Rouben Mamoulian, recently director of legitimate productions for Manhattan's Theatre Guild, experimenting so weakly with the cinema.

April 7, 2016 | Full Review…

This is the real old burlesque, in its background, people and atmosphere. So was Beth Brown's book, and Garret Fort has adapted with sufficient fidelity to hold together the odd story that makes an odd picture.

February 23, 2012 | Full Review…

Even more impressive was its (pre-Freaks) sympathetic portrayal of a shunned community in all its self-contained, lip-biting game-face pride.

November 24, 2003 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Applause

In "Applause," Thea(Paprika Steen) is just out of rehab and acting in a production of 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' Otherwise, she is trying to get her life back together, with her ex-husband Christian(Michael Falch) having already re-married to Maiken(Sara-Marie Maltha), a psychologist. That becomes increasingly important for Thea, especially as it regards potential custody of her two young sons. While "Applause" has its strengths in being a character study, it is often just as obvious, which is best exemplified in its choice of a play within the movie.(Admittedly, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' does sound better in Danish than in English.) Plus, Paprika Steen's lead performance is more showy than powerful as a character whose issues may extend beyond her addictions.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer


The actors are very good, and the story is touching, but it's a predictable and overused plot. So, it's a good movie, but it could have done something to make it stand out more and make it different.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Applause Quotes

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