Nere-do-well Jerry Corbett finally meets and marries the right girl, Joan Prentiss. Unfortunately their wedded bliss is interrupted when Jerry's play becomes a hit and he hooks up with the wrong woman from his past. Joan decides that turn-about is fair play and she picks another man to escort her around to various parties around New York. Eventually Jerry quits drinking and sends his girlfriend packing, just in time for Joan to take him back.Written by
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I spent the morning realizing that we're living in a modern world - where there's no place for old-fashioned wives. You seem to want a modern wife and that's what I'm going to be. In other words, I'm going to unpack my trunks. You see, I'd rather go merrily to Hell with you than alone.
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It's pretty funny to think that in the span of seven years, one movie could have "hell" in the title, and another broke barriers by having an actor say, "damn." In this pre-Code drama, Fredric March is an alcoholic who tends to toast his drinks by uttering the title of the movie. Sylvia Sidney, a good girl who loves him in spite of his behavior, doesn't quite get that he actually means his toast. It isn't long before he does drag her down with him. . .
How many times has Fredric March played in a movie with a drunk scene? I can come up with seven, off the top of my head. The point is, he's had tons of experience, and he does it very well, so if you like to see him in these types of roles, you can give this one a whirl. Merrily We Go to Hell is a very nasty pre-Code movie, with an enormous amount of suggestive dialogue, and situations that, two years later, would never have been filmed. Open marriages, promiscuity, and orgies are made pretty clear, even though nothing is showed.
To me, this was a pretty black-and-white film. Bad guy, good girl, bad behavior, good heart. I'd recommend watching My Sin or Call Her Savage instead if you want some pre-Code fun.
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