Fairly different from the remake it’s still the little differences that set it apart and make it interesting in it’s own way. I don’t think it’s any better or worse than the remake, but it certainly isn’t all of the same. For one thing, it’s set in the “now”, which happens to the 1930s, which feels like a period film to us. That actually renders much of the setting and behaviour more natural, and much to my enjoyment, the writing and dialogue is a little more snappy. It’s essentially written lile a very poor man’s His Girl Friday with wax dummies. They use all the popular slang one could hope for, and it’s incredibly entertaining. Just like in the former, the film’s main character is a strong and feisty woman, though here she’s far more independent than the latter. It’s also far more risqué, and just watching both films, the changes instated because of the production code become apparent (one character is an alcoholic in the 1953 version, in this film, he’s a junkie).
What also works in it’s favour, is the two tier Technicolor process. It’s an interesting look, not quite real.. but somehow very beautiful. It works especially with the wax dummies, which unlike the first, is clearly played entirely by human beings, even when they’re not supposed to be. Obviously, this was probably done because it’s cheaper, but it adds an extra layer to the film. It makes it a little more eerie, a little more beautiful.
Overall though, the performances aren’t nearly as interesting as the remake, though I can’t imagine anyone in the ’53 version pulling off the quick-fire dialogue on display in this one. It also has Fay Wray, everyone’s favourite scream queen… she screams like no other! Though, she can’t really act… still, nobody’s perfect.