Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees ... See full summary »
Chick Williams, a prohibition gangster, rejoins his mob soon after being released from prison. When a policeman is murdered during a robbery, he falls under suspicion. The gangster took ... See full summary »
Jeanne Eagels plays the bored and restless Leslie Crosbie who turns to another man, Geoffrey Hammond (Herbert Marshall) for attention when neglected by her husband Robert (Reginald Owen). ... See full summary »
Jean de Limur
Society-girl thrill seeker Lydia causes the death of motorcycle policeman and is prosecuted by her fiancé Daniel who describes in lurid detail the downfall of Rome. While she's in prison she reforms and Daniel becomes a wasted alcoholic.
Texas Ranger Dusty Rivers ("Isn't that a contradiction in terms?", another character asks him) travels to Canada in the 1880s in search of Jacques Corbeau, who is wanted for murder. He ... See full summary »
Cecil B. DeMille
Wealthy Cynthia is in love with not-so-wealthy Roger, who is married to Marcia. The threesome is terribly modern about the situation, and Marcia will gladly divorce Roger if Cynthia agrees to a financial settlement. But Cynthia's wealth is in jeopardy because her trust fund will expire if she is not married by a certain date. To satisfy that condition, Cynthia arranges to marry Hagon Derk, who is condemned to die for a crime he didn't commit. She pays him so he can provide for his little sister. But at the last minute, Derk is freed when the true criminal is discovered. Expecting to be a rich widow, Cynthia finds herself married to a man she doesn't know and doesn't want to. Written by
De Mille asked leftist playwright John Howard Lawson to write the screenplay, but Lawson did not receive screen credit. Angered Lawson returned to New York and became part of the Group Theater. Lawson said, "We were determined we would not to return to Hollywood." See more »
You have to hand it to MGM, they were way ahead of other studios in the race to achieve a sound film aesthetic. Only a year and a half into the sound era, they produced such sophisticated photoplays as THE DIVORCEE and DYNAMITE. Already glossy and well lit cinematography, good acting and direction, superb sound and high production values put them way ahead of their competition. Although DYNAMITE is preposterous as far as its plot, actions and character motivations are concerned, it does contain all of those top notch production values. For a 1929 film it was heads above what other studios had to offer that same year. The plot is ridiculous. Pampered, spoiled society girl wants to marry an already married member of her set. His wife is willing to divorce him and let her have him BUT.....she wants some money out of the deal and he has none of his own. So society girl must get some bucks fast - her trust fund stipulates she must be married on her 23rd birthday or forfeit her inheritance. She reads about a man on death row who wants $10,000 to support his kid sister after he's gone. She makes the deal - he must marry her, he gets the $10,000, she gets her inheritance, he gets the noose and she then gets her society man.
Well, as luck would have it, he gets pardoned when the real killer confesses to his crime and goes to claim his wife. She is repulsed, but attracted and we all know where this is going to end well before its overlong and often tedious 129 minute length is over. Kay Johnson, looking for all the world like Mary Pickford, is exemplary in the lead, giving a fine performance - indeed if the material had been better, she might have snagged an Oscar nom. The Art Direction did deservedly win an Oscar nom - stylish Art Deco society interiors, homely mining home interiors and mine interiors - quite a display of diversity. Had there been nominations for Costumes then, this would surely have copped one. The creations by Adrian for the gowns and outfits of the society set are amazingly stylish and clever.
The first hour is devoted to the world of society, the remaining hour and nine minutes to the world of the poor miner. Some of the scenes seem to go on forever - a good editor would have shortened the film by twenty minutes at least. Especially annoying is the wedding scene in the jail with an inmate ENDLESSLY singing a tedious song while the soundtrack is impaled with constant banging (they are building the scaffold). I almost ran screaming from the room- it seemed to never end. Also annoying was kid sister's constant sobbing - one wanted to slap!
It's worth seeing for its historical value and it is handsome to watch. Although Bickford plays entirely on one note, Nagel is charming and noble and Johnson is consistently good. Joel McCrea has a small role and both Carole Lombard and Randolph Scott are extras.
Nothing outstanding but interesting enough to suggest a viewing.
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