If you decide to run Mother's Millions (1931) it was available on a good VintageFilmBuff DVD save yourself a good deal of anger and annoyance by just watching Acts One and Two. Act 3 is totally superfluous and merely repeats or provides boringly elongated visual illustrations -- all the information you've already obtained from May Robson's skillful performance in her previous scenes. As might be expected, Robson doesn't portray Hettie Green (1834-1916) as the unrepentant miser she actually was, but as a pretend miser who merely puts on the act to hide her heart of gold. Also, as she obviously doesn't want people to take advantage of her good nature, she plays the abrasive skinflint to a "T". As I inferred above, however, the essential information that she is actually putting on an act, is provided not in the actual dialogue but either in the inflection of Robson's powerful voice or simply a twinkle in her eyes and even on two or three occasions, a quick, unexpected smile in which she turns her back on the players and gives us, the audience, an earnest of her real nature and intentions. (I had an aunt who was just like that! She disguised her soft heart by playing all her real-life roles in a really abrasive manner. But I saw through her. She had a heart like melted butter)! Anyway, getting back to Miss Robson, hers is astonishingly brilliant, really gripping performance! It's obvious that director James Flood's input in these scenes in which Robson is always the dominant figure, is nil. In fact the only other character we really notice in Acts One and Two, is Lillian Harmer who boldly plays Hettie's put-upon and apparently exploited housekeeper, Maria. Even Frances Dade who plays the daughter and Lawrence Gray who enacts the son, come across as little more than background puppets. James Hall's act as the Green lawyer is also almost wiped right off the screen by Miss Robson. Unfortunately, director Flood and all these minor players get their vocal innings in a super-boring, ruthlessly elongated Act Three in which even Miss Robson is reduced to little more than a talking empty-head. (The movie is also known as The She-Wolf a most unsatisfactory title if ever there was one)!
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