An unhappy couple watch as their daughter throws herself at an older man because he is a sophisticated artist. The daughter doesn't know that her aunt is the man's lover. At a weekend ...
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An unhappy couple watch as their daughter throws herself at an older man because he is a sophisticated artist. The daughter doesn't know that her aunt is the man's lover. At a weekend retreat, everything comes to a head when the mother plans to run off with the artist while a young man pursues the daughter. Written by
An affirmationof the importance of conventional morality
I rewatched this after seeing it at least 10 years ago, when my great pre-code TCM love-affair began. As a student of European culture, I think this movie is important. As indicated in other reviews, the sexual revolution has already happened, yet because it is 1933 (rather than post-1950s), this Anglophonic elite is still trying to observe the pieties of conventional morality, all of which have since been self-consciously discarded except among the religious. Here you have affirmation of why these conventions are important and why we abandon them at our peril. Katherine Alexander has a more touching part that what was usually afforded Eve Arden in that she expresses wistful regret for what might have been (none of that in Arden) had she been a little less unconventional and is genuinely moving in her relatively small part. Conway Tearle is unconvincing as a Picasso-like mensch (perhaps if Leone had been a young man?), but he is but a foil, so his fey performance becomes irrelevant. What really matters is Alice Brady, who in the previous favorable reviews is still not getting the due I think she deserves. There is liberated (no better illustrated than in the braless Adrian gown noted in an earlier review) soul in Alice, and her character, while appearing to be two-dimensional, is truly rich, and Alice affirms, throughout and at the end, how happiness is achieved in this compromise we call life. And Lionel is three-dimensional from start-to-finish, fully engaged in his part as a man with clear interests for his own happiness and that of his loved ones. The lessons of this play (for it is a play) are timeless, but are given with that teaspoon of sugar (comedy) so necessary to really impart them, and Brady's, Barryomore's, and Alexander's performances make this great.
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