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This one is a real surprise. You've never heard of it, but catch it if you can, you'll have a ball. Sophisticated, witty, sharp -- exactly the kind of thing that was over by time we entered the war. 'Trouble In Paradise', 'Jewel Robbery', 'By Candlelight'; it really was the era to laugh at the troubles of the rich.
It must have had quite an element of fantasy for a Depression audience, in that everybody in it seemed to have money, even the young innocent (Bennett) who gets in hot water when she passes herself off as a sophisticate; today you'll fantasize, too, about being surrounded by all that beautiful art deco design. They certainly dressed well back then, at least those with money did, and they all seemed so civilized.
The plot is beautifully developed, and the cast is interesting, too: the great Josephine Hull ("Harvey", "Arsenic And Old Lace") in one of her first movie appearances; Fortunio Bonanova (the singing teacher in "Citizen Kane") as a cartoon "wolf"; Susan Fleming, later Mrs. Harpo Marx, in one of her few movies; Minna Gombell, one of the great 'smart broads'; and a guy named Weldon Heyburn who seems to be doing a Clark Gable impression, which is very surprising, as Gable was just getting started himself.
Very nicely directed, too -- it moves well, and has some of those stylish scene transitions that you see from time to time in this era. The only disappointment is the two leads, who are okay, nothing more. If instead of John Boles and Joan Bennett it had been people with a real flair for this kind of comedy -- Melvyn Douglas and Myrna Loy, say -- this would have been a major title. As it is, watch it for the script and the texture of its era.
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