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Superb precoder that floored me. Very adult and unrelenting story about an adulterous couple (Clive Brook, Kay Francis), a nightclub singer (Miriam Hopkins) and her murderous husband (Regis Toomey).
Set during a 24-hour period and starting during a snowy night in New York City, this film is a wonder. We see the snowy skyline as we enter a posh living room where Brook and stunning Francis are basically calling it quits. He's drunk but proper and she's feeling guilty. He walks out into the night and witnesses a sidewalk murder. He stops off for more drinks before going to see Hopkins--an amazing performance as Rosie the singer (and 2 terrific songs)--and having more drinks. After stalling her bum husband (Toomey) she takes Brook home and puts him to bed. But Toomey breaks in and accidentally kills her in a fit of jealousy.
Next morning Brook wakes up to a dead Hopkins and is arrested for murder. Francis reads about it in the morning papers (fast journalism!) and rushes to him just as the police are finishing grilling him. The film ends as the clock ticks off the 24th hour.....
Brook is subtle and effective (as always); Francis is effective and never looked better in her furs and jewels; Hopkins gives one of her very best performances as hapless Rosie, and Toomey is actually good as well. Co-stars include George Barbier, Adrienne Ames, Charlotte Granville, Wade Boteler, and a great turn by Lucille LaVerne.
What a gem this one is. No Hollywood apologies, no big changes for the better. They are who they are. The camera shots are excellent and the pacing is brisk. This one is a "must see."
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