Clive Brook, a military man having an affair, is accused of cheating at cards during a hunting weekend at some titled fellow's country estate. Will he mount an ACTION FOR SLANDER, once rumors of his scandalous card playing wreck his reputation at the club and in his regiment?
Anyone who loves classic movies is familiar the typical treatment of the English. They like to hunt in the country. They are very concerned with honor. They are very rigid in their relationships. Class matters. And the barristers and judges all fancy themselves to be rather fine comedians. (And, of course, there are legal gymnastics galore, because classic movies like their courtroom scenes.) This movie -- literally -- has all the clichés delivered by the English themselves, and Clive Brook, cast rather well here as a man having his honor challenged. Acting is fine. Script is talky -- suggesting this was a stage play once upon a time. Comic relief does what it is supposed to do -- and is mildly funny. There is an element of self-mockery throughout the picture, even though the leads play their roles 100% straight, and have no discernible sense of humor.
Cinematicallly, the staging and blocking is fine, but there's no moody expressionism. An early scene, showing our hero out bird hunting, actually has the birds dropping to the ground while conversation goes on. The whole sequence is cinematically interesting (and adds to the feel of social satire).
Good film, and it would be loved as part of the TCM rotation. Alas, it is not there.
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