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 »
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
One of the best of the early de Mille works - given that most of those films featured the same stable of actors. You get to see the last glimpses of that Golden Age before the stock market crash led to the Depression (when a relay comprised of women rolling themselves along a track inside giant hoops passed for racing excitement, probably since horse racing, like alcohol, had been banned in the US at that time) Stunning costumes and Art Deco details (lucite and sequins and pincurls, oh my!) provide welcome diversion from the inconceivable plot - although the two female leads and their society set planning one's divorce so the other can marry the ex-husband is racy!
Of interest especially is the fact that you can recognize the stage training of many of the actors brought to Hollywood with the advent of sound, and how wooden previously silent actors can be when given voice. Also interesting is the characters' flagrant flouting of Prohibition, which still had 4 years left - after all, this was "pre-Code" Hollywood when there wasn't a censor to be found!
Most significant is the sound. The scene which annoys modern viewers is the chaos in the jailhouse wedding scene. However, this is one of the first instances of layered sound: the hammering of the gallows over the prisoner's singing over the wedding vows was a first for a medium that had gone talkie only a year & a half earlier.
So watch it for the details, not the drama
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