6.1/10
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Living on Velvet (1935)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 2 March 1935 (USA)
Terry Parker (George Brent) is shattered by the crash of his airplane which killed his parents and sister, and adopts a listless attitude toward life. But romance enters in the person of ... See full summary »

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(story and screen play), (story and screen play) (as Julius Epstein)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Helen Lowell ...
Aunt Martha Prentiss
...
Harold Thornton
...
Major
Maude Turner Gordon ...
Mrs. Parker
...
Henry L. Parker (as Samuel Hinds)
Martha Merrill ...
Cynthia Parker
...
Counterman
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Storyline

Terry Parker (George Brent) is shattered by the crash of his airplane which killed his parents and sister, and adopts a listless attitude toward life. But romance enters in the person of Amy Prentiss (Kay Francis), the girl friend of his best friend, Gibraltar (Warren William), who graciously lets love take its course and even helps the couple get married and get located. Amy tries to steer Terry out of his irresponsible ways but fails and eventually leaves him, only to be reunited when called to Terry's side after he has been in an automobile crash. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

2 March 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Att älska är att leva  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took five takes until George Brent and Kay Francis got through the donut-dunking scene without laughing. See more »

Goofs

There should be no mountains visible in the background of the Long Island estate, yet there are. See more »

Soundtracks

Cherie, I Love You
(1926) (uncredited)
Music by Lillian Goodman
Played at the amusement park
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User Reviews

 
Oddly enough this is one of my favorites from the 30's
29 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I say "oddly" because I cannot nail down precisely why I like it so much. There's just something magical and Christmas-like - in a renewed hope kind of way - about this film.

I admit that I would find Terry Parker (George Brent) an unendurable jerk if it were not for the first scene showing the airplane wreck plus his one serious speech to his good friend and benefactor Gibraltar (Warren William) about why he is wrecking his own life with wild abandon. One act of carelessness - not being sure he had enough fuel when he piloted his family to an event - has resulted in all of their deaths while he walked away unharmed, and now he is being intentionally reckless and insuring that he will never be successful or happy. He feels he's living on borrowed time and he wants to be sure he can't pay back the loan.

However, he can't help but reach for some bit of happiness when he meets Amy (Kay Francis) at a party. The two run out on the party, have a grand night together strolling through the park, riding in a carriage, and dunking donuts at dawn in a dingy diner. Then Terry learns that Amy is "Gibraltar's Amy" - the girl that his only true friend in the world loves and just told him about the day before. He won't betray that friendship, so in spite of Amy's pleas that the feeling is not mutual between herself and Gibralter, he refuses to see her any more and goes on a bender to try to get her out of his system. Uncharacteristic for almost any role Warren William ever played, he selflessly finds Terry, sobers him up, brings him back to Amy, and steps out of the way so that Terry and Amy can be together. Amy and Terry are immediately married, and Gibraltar lets them lease a lovely vacant house he owns on Long Island for only 4.50 a month.

The two are fabulously happy at first, but then Terry starts in with his passive aggressive destruction of their marriage. He just can't let himself be happy. The whole thing ends rather abruptly and rather unbelievably in the way that so many 30's Warner films did, but the final scene is sure to warm your heart.

What's great about this movie? It has a rather offbeat and unique premise even if word by word the dialogue is forgettable, Kay Francis and George Brent had amazing chemistry here as in all of their films, and there's that great romantic score playing through most of the film. I always thought that Warner's did these 30's high society dramas actually better than MGM, even though that was somewhat MGM's stock and trade, because Warner's knew to keep things moving and to the point rather than let things drag on as was the case in several similar films by MGM of that same era. Highly recommended.


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