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Ann Williams, secretary to eccentric drama critic Frederick Skeates, is persuaded to alter a ruinous review of Shakespearean actor Edmund Davey by Davey's wife Barbara. Davey's 'Othello' becomes a hit and Ann, even though fired by Skeates, becomes a fan of Davey and starts to fall for him, much to the jealousy of her boyfriend Tommy. At the prospect of involvement in an adulterous triangle, Ann recoils; but despite her resolution, the characters' love lives become ever more tangled and a real-life tragedy of Othello looms... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Theatre critic Mr Skeates's (A.E Matthews) secretary, Ann (Miriam Hopkins) re-writes a theatre review about Edmund (Sebastian Shaw) at the request of his wife, Barbara (Gertrude Lawrence) in order to paint Edmund in a good light. Following the review, Edmund has a successful career alongside his wife but Ann is given the sack. Edmund and Ann fall in love with each other but Barbara is still in the picture and they can only be together if Barbara is completely out of the way. Barbara and Edmund are both starring in Shaespeare's "Othello" and 'Desdemona''s death scene on stage seems the perfect opportunity for Edmund's 'Othello' to do what he deems necessary.
The women make this picture. Both Hopkins and Lawrence are good in their roles while a special mention must go to Laura Smithson as the maid "Katherine". She provides the best moment of the film when a painter (Sybil Grove) comes to try and blackmail her with a painting of Edmund and Ann together in the park - a painting that will cause scandal and obviously upset Barbara. The way that Katherine haggles down the price with the use of a knitting needle and a knife is most commendable and very amusing.
Unfortunately, the men most certainly are not Gods. They are very irritating with Sebastian Shaw coming off as the best, but only because he doesn't shout his way through the film or assault us with dialogue that is machine-gunned at us at 100mph. This is the technique used by both Matthews and Harrison and it is very irritating. It's as if they both thought - "hmm my character works for a newspaper. Let me think. I know, I'll talk really fast and shout a lot. Yeah, that's a good idea". Well it isn't and it ruins the film from the outset when we see the very pretentiously named A. E. Matthews dictate a review to Hopkins in this style. You think "Thank God!" when the scene is over, but then Harrison takes over with exactly the same style.
The story moves quite quickly but it has peculiar moments to it that don't make sense, eg, Barbara encouraging Ann and Edmund to spend time with each other, Edmund's love for Ann, and the ending where poor Ann is just discarded. We end the film feeling sorry for her. It's a film that is OK to watch with some irritating men and a couple of funny moments. Nothing more.
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