The wealthy Van Dyke family are constantly in the media for outrageous behavior, much to the frustration of patriarch Dan Van Dyke. His self-centered, bubble-headed wife has a fondness for ...
See full summary »
Some dastardly criminals have stolen some top secret plans and tattoo them on the back of a woman so she can sell them to the highest bidder in Lisbon. This woman plans to take the place of... See full summary »
Cement company CEO Stephen Dexter asks his secretary Kendall to marry him as a wife in name only, an arrangement made to protect his finances from an attempt at a hostile business takeover.... See full summary »
William A. Seiter
Ice-cold college dean Susan Middlecott feels there's no room in her life for romance. Enter Prof. Alec Stevenson, British lecturer on astronomy, touring North America and in possession of a... See full summary »
Susan is in the hospital with a bullet near her heart. Marian has told the police that she shot Susan in a rage as Susan was giving up singing. Marian and Luke found Susan when she was a ... See full summary »
Book thief/forger sells a fake book to a Nazi through a female agent. A detective tries to uncover who the forger is and gets in the middle of a three way struggle for rare books and revenge in a public library.
John Francis Larkin
In 1917 Lt. Bill Gordon is headed for France when he meets and becomes friendly with Joel Carter, niece of the Asst. Secretary of War. Finding out that he is an expert on codes, she gets ... See full summary »
William K. Howard,
The wealthy Van Dyke family are constantly in the media for outrageous behavior, much to the frustration of patriarch Dan Van Dyke. His self-centered, bubble-headed wife has a fondness for foreign imports, including "pet projects" like dancers and such. His spoiled children Tony and Carol have constant run-ins with the law. When Dan himself ends up in the clink for five years for tax evasion, he becomes bunk-mates with ex-bootlegger Joe "Spots" Ricardi. Ricardi lectures him on being such a push-over for an out-of-control family, so a dying Dan makes Ricardi his estate trustee once he is released from prison. Ricardi is thrust into high society and must do everything he once nagged Dan to do in order to bring the unruly brats under control. This is even more difficult than it seems as Carol defies him at every turn, and his old gang is trying to get him back in the business. Written by
Some things never change, and "She Couldn't Take It" proves we'll always have the idle rich stealing the media spotlight with their idiotic antics. Here we have a pleasing '30s comedy with witty characterizations, nifty dialogue and lots of action. And forget about the tendency of screwball romantic comedies to never allow anything truly bad to happen along the way. We are dealing with gangsters here, after all. Dizzy blonde heiress Carol Van Dyke (Joan Bennett) throws her father's money about freely in a string of attention-seeking exploits, engagements and arrests. Give her a Chihuahua, and she'd be Paris Hilton. Her drunken brother is just as bad, and her mother is the worst of the lot. Their ill father Daniel Van Dyke (Walter Connolly) is actually relieved to be sent to prison on tax evasion in order to get some rest. There, he is sought out by former beer runner Ricardi, who is interested in Dan's business skills but disappointed to find the man such a marshmallow for his out-of-hand family. Ricardi freely offers him advice to rein them in, including smacking the wife in the kisser. On his death bed, Dan coaxes Ricardi, who is about to be released, into accepting the position of trustee to put a leash on the family. It is culture shock for Ricardi, who is determined to turn his life around, and his pal Boston (Wallace Ford). And his main problem is getting Carol under his thumb as she goes to drastic measures to get her own way. The cast is spot on across the board. Bennett takes on the bratty blonde persona surprisingly well. Connolly is excellent, taking his trademark flustered executive in a new direction. Billie Burke, as his wife, really does deserve to smacked in the mouth for her coquettish viciousness. Alan Mowbray is ham perfected as Carol's actor fiancé whose conversation is made up entirely of quotations. He even aims "Julius Caesar"'s "I would rather be a dog, and bay the moon, than such a Roman" at Raft. And, amusingly, Raft gets a chance to spoof him. The movie does belong to Raft, who is quite a kick here and rather self-revealing. Much of the script, in fact, seems constructed around him and exaggerating his real background, with Ricardi being cruelly referred to as a West Side criminal and a "cheap Hell's Kitchen butcher." The scenario of a man with a poverty-stricken, shady background being thrust among the upper crust has a real feel to it because of him. There are actual moments of character development here. Director Tay Garnett shows a nice touch for screwball comedy, even when incorporating murder into the mix. He nicely bookends the story with high-speed cop chases. On that score, there is no real respect for law enforcement, with the cops being mainly buffoons, surely a sign of the times.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this