We're Only Human (1935) Poster

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Great Photography, Superb Jane Wyatt, Annoying Script
Oskado9 April 2004
The actors and photography in this film are capable of so much, but we watch helplessly as Talent and Charm go squandered on a mix of out-dated Dick Tracy high-tech, underdeveloped but beautifully filmed romance, and (worst of all) an annoyingly sophomoric, Freudian-like sub-plot leading to an end-scene transformation of the grating, macho lead character (Preston Foster) into a normal human being. With the style of Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn at the end of Topper, Preston and Wyatt then ride off into the horizon in an open convertible, but this time leaving a wasteland of a script behind them.

The 1935 atmosphere of this film seems true enough, with post-prohibition gangland warfare, immigrant tenements, Tammany Hall, etc. corruption, but again, this film is light-weight, not penetrating into the higher reaches of that criminal organization - higher reaches with white collars - understudies of whom we have plenty today, in and around government.

Lest this "comment" appear too condemning, I'll admit to having checked to see if I could purchase a DVD copy - not with any eagerness to watch the whole film again, but only to be able to revisit certain scenes, above all, that wonderfully young Jane Wyatt and the styles and city streets of the time - streets named "nostalgia", though this film predates me by ten years.
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"I feel fine, get me an ambulance!"
jbacks3-16 April 2006
How many 1930's movies can boast appearances by so many notable character actors? RKO managed to assemble the cream of every other studio's character crop: the under-rated WB veteran Arthur Hohl, Mischa Auer, Maroni Olsen, James Gleason, Jane Darwell (as his Ms.), Hattie McDaniel (one scene as what else? A maid)... plus one of my favorite 'oily guys,' Harold Huber and, as a child, future film documentarian, Delmar Watson? I think I even spied the ubiquitous Ed Brophy in one scene. The plot is strictly B-movie material: a gung-ho cop (Preston Foster) is bent on bringing down the city's crooks single-handedly, even promising a 30-day deadline. Bad guy (funny man Mischa Auer in a dramatic turn) escapes and her gets suspended. There's several way-cool scenes: the primitive polygraph and a terrific lead-filled finale. Plus you get an amazingly hot 24-year old Jane Wyatt (who left me wondering why she never fell for the peroxide bottle like so many 30's starlets) in what I think was only her third film role. RKO was pulling itself out of the Depression in 1935--- "We're Only Human" was produced by the newly promoted Edward Kaufman, who moved in to fill the void left by the departure of Meriam C. Cooper. In a year when the studio produced monster hits like 'Top Hat" and "The Informer," this is certainly not on the same plateau, but entries like this helped put the studio in the black for the first time since 1930. Three things I noticed: Preston unloads his S&W inside Wyatt's apartment without anyone calling the cops, and when you do see the cops, they all appear to be driving already-then-old 1929 Lincoln Phaetons and finally, Ms. Wyatt displays a shocking lack of driver's safety by sucking face with Preston Foster so long that they should've rightly ended up running off a cliff or wrapped around a tree. Thank God for rear projection.
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2/10
As if a movie this bad could be spoiled
Clay Loomis15 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Typical 30's potboiler stuff about an overzealous cop who learns his lesson. If a real cop ever acted like the guy depicted in this movie, he'd have never lived to learn anything. Overblown, over the top, overly melodramatic, and at times, incomprehensible (cops threatening to beat a confession out of a WITNESS????), We're Only Human can be a rough watch.

I realize that this was made pre-Miranda, but could cops really give a crime witness a polygraph test without his consent in the 1930's? I was often confused by some of the things that went on in this movie. For instance, what cop in his right mind would rush two armed, barricaded criminals firing guns when he himself is unarmed? That does not make him Dick Tracy, it makes him Damn Stupid. But I suppose it makes as much sense as when he pulls and fires a gun while blind. Yup, this movie is THAT goofy. Our hero even goes so far as to verbally lambaste his partner for getting shot. Nothing like dressing down your friend when he's dying of a gunshot wound.

If all 80 cable channels are running nothing but infomercials, you might get through an hour watching this, but I think a good stove/oven cleaning would be a better use of the time. A previous reviewer of this film has listed as his subject "I feel fine, get me an ambulance." It is one of the more ridiculous lines in this movie (when our hero gets shot in the face) and sums up perfectly how you'll feel once you've watched it.
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5/10
holes galore
blanche-217 September 2015
"We're Only Human" is a 1935 B film starring Preston Foster, Jane Wyatt, James Gleason, and Jane Darwell.

Foster plays a cop, Pete McCarthy, who disregards the rules and is usually in trouble. When a prisoner (Mischa Auer) escapes from a train, McCarthy is suspended, but promises reporters that he'll have the guy back in custody in 30 days.

Pretty Jane Wyatt plays Sally, a reporter, and the two fall for one another.

Well, it's pretty bad. McCarthy at one point is injured and has to wear bandages over his eyes. This doesn't keep him, however, from emptying his gun when he hears a noise.

Sally prints the name and address of a witness in the newspaper, and after he's threatened, he forgets what he saw. Not smart, Sally. Also, while driving, she kisses McCarthy. It's amazing they weren't killed. I could go on, but I won't.

This is fairly melodramatic and over the top, a very typical '30s film. Jane Wyatt had such a lovely quality - she always had it, and she has it here. Good thing for her because the Foster was climbing the walls.

I can't really recommend this. You might enjoy watching it for some pre-Miranda police stuff, just hooking someone up to a polygraph machine without asking (and wait until you see the machine) and a cop asking for five minutes so he can beat a witness. I mean -- really.
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