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Stella and Victor meet in Europe, fall deeply in love, and marry soon thereafter. Then they sail back to the States to meet Victor's family, and the honeymoon is over: Victor's family, dominated by his manipulative mother, find Stella -- a free spirit -- pretentious and aloof. Their marriage starts to fall apart when Victor begins siding with his family instead of his wife. Written by
Chris Stone <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Determined Copy Editor
[Victor has left the house against his mother's wishes]
Victor! Come back here!
Don't bother to faint, Mom, he can't see you.
[suddenly alert, and very irritated]
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A well-written screenplay and wonderful acting make this movie a joy to watch.
Anyone interested in family relationships will surely enjoy this movie about a manipulative matriarch, Louise Closser Hale, who is not averse to fake fainting spells to get her way with her four sons and their wives. The acting is first-rate by a stellar cast, five of whom (John Beal, Hal K. Dawson, Irene Cattell, Maidel Turner and Margaret Hamilton) were in the original Broadway production which opened 25 April 1932, and who reprised their roles. This was also the film debut of Beal, Hamilton and Cattell (the only film she ever made). But kudos go to the magnificent Helen Hayes as the new addition to the family who stands up to Hale, John Beal, as her sensitive nephew who falls in love with her, and Robert Montgomery playing Hayes' husband, still under the control of his mother. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Stick with it until the end; the last 20 minutes are as riveting as any drama can be.
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