In 1923, Gregory Vance, a widower with two children, is a former scholar who has turned from book-to-bottle. He works, slightly, as a night-watchman and his children, who know him for what ... See full summary »
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
John Barrymore is the reason I tracked this film down
John Barrymore is the reason I tracked down this lesser-known film. The story itself is B or C-grade. John Boles gets to show off his own singing ability on film as an opera singer who is competing with John Barrymore's impresario character for the attentions of Claire Dodd. Her character comes across very icy and doesn't seem worth fighting over. Meanwhile an opera singer eager for fame, Gladys Swarthout, drives the screwball comedy element of the film. She poses as a maid and Middle Eastern princess, and Boles hopes her marketability will distract Barrymore from Dodd. Swarthout's character is the only one I felt anything for.
For me, the best part of the film was seeing John Barrymore without his moustache! He has it shaven off early in the film and suddenly looks like his 1920s films again. It's like silent movie Jack, looking a bit older and with less hair, but wonderfully attractive. Unfortunately, he gets very few opportunities to do any scene-stealing.
This film is only worth seeing if one of the actors is among your favorites. Clean-shaven Jack Barrymore is the sole reason I will watch this again. I just wish he'd had more screen time.
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