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Housewife (1934)

 -  Drama  -  11 August 1934 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 507 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 9 critic

Nan Reynolds encourages her copywriter husband Bill to open his own agency. Nearly out of business, he finally gets a client. Former girlfriend Patricia Berkeley writes a very successful ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Brent ...
...
Patricia Berkeley
...
Nan
...
Paul
Ruth Donnelly ...
Dora
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
George
Robert Barrat ...
Sam Blake
Joseph Cawthorn ...
Krueger (as Joe Cawthorne)
Phil Regan ...
Radio Singer
Willard Robertson ...
Judge
Ronnie Cosby ...
Buddy Reynolds
Leila Bennett ...
Jenny
Harry Tyler ...
Mr. Simmons
Charles Coleman ...
Bolton
Edit

Storyline

Nan Reynolds encourages her copywriter husband Bill to open his own agency. Nearly out of business, he finally gets a client. Former girlfriend Patricia Berkeley writes a very successful commercial for the client and neats up their old romance. Wife and girlfriend struggle over Bill. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 August 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dona de Casa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Lee Phelps (Court Clerk) and Lester Dorr (Chauffeur) are in studio records/casting call lists for their roles, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Patricia 'Pat' Berkeley: Well, I've done alright. I suddenly found out I had some brains and decided to use them.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bette Davis: A Basically Benevolent Volcano (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

L'amour, toujours, l'amour
(1922) (uncredited)
Music by Rudolf Friml
Played during the announcement of the end of the first Duprey Hour
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rather uninspired story has some fine acting...
17 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

especially from Ann Dvorak (Nan Reynolds), who is in the title role as the housewife. It's basically a story that's been told time and time again, but with a few twists - a man (Bill Reynolds) rises up from obscurity to riches largely due to not only hard work, but the inspiration and ingenuity of a good woman, and then that man loses his head when he gets to the top. Brent plays the man forgetting where he came from and how he got there, and he does a more sympathetic job of it than actors in similar films, mainly because George Brent usually plays his roles with such sensitivity. Thus is the case here, and he therefore looks somewhat conscience-stricken even when he's behaving unconscionably.

John Halliday plays Paul Duprey, a major client in Bill's advertising firm as well as a man who sees the value in what Bill is tossing aside in the person of Bill's wife, Nan. Finally there is Bette Davis as Pat Berkeley, a creative genius in the advertising world and an old friend of Bill and supposedly of Nan too, although that doesn't prevent her from going after Bill. Warner Brothers has Ms. Davis' acting abilities packed in cotton here, as her sharp delivery and style of the late 30's and onward is on Valium in this particular film. She isn't given much more to do here than wander around looking fabulous in what seems to be a copy of Kay Francis' wardrobe. No wonder she fled to England in 1936.

There are a few touches that are pure Warners. Particularly humorous is a radio show - "The Duprey Hour" - designed by Bill's office manager rather than by Bill when Bill begins chasing after the charms of Pat and allows his business to be neglected. The show is supposed to build up Duprey Cosmetics. The final result is a disaster and consists of all kinds of bad humor that is so tasteless it's funny. It's topped off by a crooner singing lines like "...if the circles under your eyes look like apple pies...". You get the idea.

I'd recommend this one for the fine acting of Ann Dvorak and George Brent, for the unbelievable underutilization of Bette Davis, and the little touches and comic turns here and there that only seemed to pop up at Warner Brothers, especially in the 1930's. Do note that I think this might have been a better and meatier film if it had been made a year earlier and not just as the production code was coming into full effect. The director and writers just might have been afraid, under the circumstances, to take this film some of the places that could have made it more interesting.


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