(1930). Stage Play: Apron Strings. Comedy. Written by Dorrance Davis. Directed by Earle Boothe. Bijou Theatre: 17 Feb 1930- Sep 1930 (closing date unknown/224 performances). Cast: Audray Dale (as "Barbara Olwell"), Jefferson De Angelis (as "Ezra Hunniwell"), Ethel Intropodi (as "Inez Wakefield"), Josie Intropodi (as "Hester"), Frank Monroe (as "John Olwell"), Roger Pryor (as "Daniel Curtis"), Maidel Turner (as "Mrs. Olwell"). Produced by Forrest C. Haring. Note: Filmed by Universal Pictures as The Virtuous Husband (1931). See more »
Here is one the clueless folks at Universal could dust off and market, if they weren't content to let their movie vault turn to dust. "The Virtuous Husband" is a very funny comedy in a very subtle sort of way. It was adapted to the screen by its playwright after a successful Broadway run. It stars Jean Arthur and Elliot Nugent as a betrothed couple - he a mama's boy and she a free swinger. It gets funnier as the film progresses, especially after he meets her parents, played by J.C. Nugent and the delightful Allison Skipworth. Willie Best is on hand in one of his shuffling, pop-eyed butler roles, which set race relations back about 50 years.
This movie is so old Walter Brennan plays a bellhop! But age shouldn't deter anyone from watching this picture. Even after 80 years the dialogue still sparkles and the premise is still hilarious. If it ever comes available do yourself a favor and watch it or rent it - unless you're into digital special effects-type entertainment. You have to pay attention to this one or you will miss the full humorous effects of the script.
It could be some time before - or even if - it is available. I caught it on a 35mm master restored by the Library of Congress and shown at Capitolfest in Rome, N.Y., 8/10.
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