One of the earliest of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by MCA ever since. See more »
Despite their occasional creakiness, I'm a great fan of the early talkies. This one, however, is not only creaky but downright inept in every department, save one -- acting. In the acting division, thanks to the sterling efforts of Mary Nolan, Montagu Love and William Powell (in a very small, if important role), it's only 90% rotten. Clive Brook gives such a bad performance, one contemporary reviewer assumed he was playing the butler and wrote a tongue-in-cheek critique accordingly. Sad to say that while Brook plumbs the depths of ineptitude, Miss Chatterton and Miss Crews do not exactly shine either, although it's tempting to blame their staginess on the extremely static yet over-emphatic direction they obviously received from Robert Milton. As a result, the Somerset Maugham comedy-of-manners comes across with all the wit of a turkey's egg. Sparse production values and hole-in-the-wall photography don't help either.
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