The Private Life of Don Juan

Director: Alexander Korda
Year Released: 1934
Rating: 3.0

Notorious Latin lover Don Juan (Douglas Fairbanks), now middle-aged, "fakes" his own death (an impersonator claiming to be him gets murdered by a jealous husband) and assumes the identity of "Captain Mariano" ... but finds his old seductive tricks are no longer effective without the reputation. It actually works as a perfect metaphor for an aging "star" in Hollywood - and even more fittingly, this was Fairbanks' final role - as Don Juan, after being humiliated, goes back to his wife Dolores (though why she should forgive him is absurd) - the original tale was about being aware of your own mortality (and the limitations on pleasure) but some people mistakenly think it advocates hedonism. Fairbanks Sr. didn't thrive in the talkie era (his voice lacked command) and Korda's direction is merely functional, although the end result is charming. "Are women worth it?" the lead asks ... but it's a rhetorical question.