Julie Cavendish comes from a family of great Broadway actors. Her mother Fanny staunchly continues acting. Her boisterous brother Tony is fleeing a breach of promise suit in Hollywood. Her ...
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Julie Cavendish comes from a family of great Broadway actors. Her mother Fanny staunchly continues acting. Her boisterous brother Tony is fleeing a breach of promise suit in Hollywood. Her daughter Gwen must decide between going on stage, or settling down in a conventional marriage. Julie is just thinking that it would be nice to retire and get married, when who should turn up but her old beau, Gilmore Marshal, the platinum magnate from South America.Written by
THEY'RE "AT HOME" TO YOU! Their escapades made headlines but their private lives and loves are now revealed to you! America's darlings as they are with the spotlights off! (Print Ad-The Guardian, ((Montreal, PQ)) 20 February 1931)
The Cavendish family is based on the Barrymore family, who in the 1920's were considered America's greatest family of actors. Ethel Barrymore saw the play "The Royal Family" (on which this movie is based) on Broadway, and was highly-critical of how her family was portrayed. However, after John Barrymore saw the play in Los Angeles, he went backstage and congratulated Fredric March on his portrayal of the eccentric, hard-drinking actor Tony Cavendish, a character based on Barrymore himself. See more »
If this movie got better in the second half, I didn't find out about it. Loosely based on the "royal" Barrymores who reigned on Broadway in the early 20th century, Ina Claire, Henrietta Crosman, and Fredric March play an eccentric, dramatic family of actors and actresses. Having come from a theatrical background myself, my patience wore through pretty thin, since I've known people like that. I can't imagine how quickly a non-theater person would have turned the movie off.
Mary Brian is sick of her family's ups and downs, so she considers marrying her regular boyfriend instead of continuing a life onstage. Naturally, her family doesn't support her decision, because it threatens their own decisions. From what I saw, the actors were talking nonstop, as they often did in early talkies, losing their tempers at the drop of a hat, shouting about nothing, and being very theatrical. The only scene of any consequence that I saw was Fredric March's shower scene, because it would never have passed the Hays Code four years later-maybe that's why he was nominated for Best Actor for this movie! He plays a caricature of John Barrymore, and he has many conquests and drunken episodes that make his backstage life even more entertaining than his onstage personas. In one scene, he's entertaining his family with a lengthy gossip story, and during his monologue, he takes off his clothes. Clark Gable may have received all the hype about not wearing an undershirt in It Happened One Night, but Fredric March didn't wear one either in 1930. Only when he unbuttons his boxers does he sneak out of view from the camera, but the entire family gathers around the glass shower to continue to listen to his story, and the shower door frequently opens. . .
Besides that, the movie isn't very shocking, or interesting. But if you like loud early talkies like Bombshell, you'll probably really like it. I don't usually like that style.
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