Kathy lives in a cramped New York flat with her father Madden Thomas, a celebrated actor brought down by drink. Lame from an early age and feeling trapped with her father in her small world...
See full summary »
Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by ... See full summary »
In the 1600s, cowardly Sir Simon of Canterville flees a duel and seeks solace in the family castle. His ashamed father seals him in the room where he is hiding and dooms him to life as a ... See full summary »
Norman Z. McLeod
The crooks in London know how it works. No one carries guns and no one resists the police. Then a new gang appears that go one better. They dress as police and steal from the crooks. This ... See full summary »
In London a young lady meets a homeless and apparently penniless Russian prince. She introduces him to her middle-class Fulham family and he moves in. It turns out he still has a number of ... See full summary »
Charles returns to Paris to reminisce about the life he led in Paris after it was liberated. He worked on "Stars and Stripes" when he met Marion and Helen. He would marry and be happy ... See full summary »
Harry and Eve Graham are trying to adopt a baby. The head of the agency senses Harry is keeping a secret and does some investigating. He soon discovers Harry has done an unusual amount of ... See full summary »
Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.
Kathy lives in a cramped New York flat with her father Madden Thomas, a celebrated actor brought down by drink. Lame from an early age and feeling trapped with her father in her small world, Kathy is delighted to meet fellow tenant Robert. When Madden is offered the lead in a new King Lear and Robert lands a composing job in Hollywood, better times seem for a while to beckon. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
A big departure for Monty Woolley....and a really superb film.
While his name isn't exactly famous today, Monty Woolley was one of the best supporting actors of his age (not B-movies...more like 'A Minus movies'). He also starred in some wonderful lower-budgeted films that are joys to watch today. Because of this, I have tried to see every one of his films. When I found "Life Begins at Eight Thirty" today, however, I was surprised. His films normally are light comedies or wonderful family films. He also did make a couple musicals...but I didn't think he made serious dramas--ones with a dark tone like this movie.
Woolley plays Madden Thomas--a well-respected and famous actor who decided long ago to abandon his stage career in favor of the bottle. Being a drunk has its advantages...stage fright certainly is no longer an issue and he doesn't have to deal with disappointments! He and his daughter, Kathy (Ida Lupino), live in a crappy apartment and scrape to make ends meet. However, a kind neighbor, Robert Carter (Cornell Wilde) remembers Madden--and he's determined not only to help him get work but to bring his daughter out of her shell. It seems that Kathy has a MINOR problem with a limp...and she sees it as a huge impediment. What's to come of this sad Thomas clan? And, what is the truth about Kathy's leg?
In many ways, Woolley plays pretty much the same sort of character he played in "The Man Who Came to Dinner"....but with a tragic and dark side that makes his funny rants and eccentric behavior anything but funny. It's a strange juxtaposition--but one that works well. The film in many ways, however, is more a Lupino film as she gets a very meaty role--a chance to show everyone that she has a lot more depth than her earlier films showed. She is, at times, the perfect enabler. I also really liked Wilde's character--he was blunt yet caring. He didn't put up with excuses and seemed like a swell guy.
There are many wonderful moments in this film. Each of the three main characters gets a chance to have a little speech, of sorts where they pour themselves out in front of the cameras--real chances to act! Additionally, the film handles addiction very well--very honestly and without quick and easy resolutions (like in "Lost Weekend" where serious alcoholism is seemingly solved at the end of the picture). Well worth seeing and a highly underrated and very entertaining film.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?