A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee, a down on his luck reporter, hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth in order to prevent a high-society woman from suing for libel.
Millicent Jordan is pre-occupied with the plans she is making for a high-class dinner party. Her husband Oliver is in failing health, and he is also worried because someone is trying to buy up the stock in his shipping business - even his old friend Carlotta wants to sell her stock. Hoping to get help from businessman Dan Packard, he persuades Millicent, against her wishes, to invite Packard and his wife to the dinner. As Oliver's problems get worse, Millicent is increasingly quick-tempered because the plans for the party are not going smoothly. As the time for the dinner approaches, it appears that the hosts and the guests will all have plenty on their minds. Written by
Jean Harlow was in awe of Marie Dressler's talents and praised the veteran actress for her generosity. "Being in the same cast with Marie was a break for me," said Harlow. "She's one trouper I'd never try to steal a scene from. It'd be like trying to carry Italy against Mussolini." See more »
Carlotta tells Millicent she has already seen "Say It With Music" two or three times, but Carlotta has only been in town for a few days and she told Oliver that this was her first time back in New York in ten years, It is unlikely that Carlotta would have seen the same show two or three times in the few days she has been in New York, especially as she indicates that she didn't particularly care for it. (Incidentally, Carlotta's withering remark about "that man with the cigar" is a sly dig at Groucho Marx, whose ad libbing made mincemeat of George S. Kaufman's scripts for the stage versions of The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers.) See more »
I like it in New York in the summer! Gee, I've had some swell times on Penthouse parties.
All my life I've wanted to be a Penthouse girl.
Yeh, you'd be good at that.
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A flamboyant old actress with memories of lovers long dead. An alcoholic actor desperate for one more chance on the stage. An Oklahoma tycoon and his below-the-tracks, tough as nails wife. A philandering doctor and his faithful wife. They're all invited to meet tonight at the mansion home of a dying industrialist and his flighty, society-obsessed wife for DINNER AT EIGHT.
Following the great success of GRAND HOTEL in 1932, MGM & producer David O. Selznick embarked on producing an even greater all-star triumph. They succeeded. DINNER AT EIGHT takes a first class list of performers at the top of their form (Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, Billie Burke) and seamlessly, if a bit implausibly, weaves a plot full of comedy & tragedy which allows each star to strut their stuff.
Dressler was Hollywood's top star at this time and she is wonderful, fingering her jewelry - each piece a remembrance of an ancient romance. She has only one scene with gorgeous Harlow and that comes at the very end of the film, but it's a classic.
The rest of the cast is a wonderful grab bag of talent: peppery Lee Tracy, elderly Louise Closser Hale, gentle Jean Hersholt, as well as Phillips Holmes, Edmund Lowe, Karen Morley, Madge Evans, Grant Mitchell, Elizabeth Patterson, May Robson, Herman Bing.
Take a moment to consider Edward Woods, playing Eddie the bell boy. The year before at Warner Brothers he had traded roles with James Cagney in a little picture called PUBLIC ENEMY. Cagney became an instant, huge celebrity. Woods continued to play bell boy roles...
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