7.3/10
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Nothing Sacred (1937)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 26 November 1937 (USA)
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An eccentric woman learns she is not dying of radium poisoning as earlier assumed, but when she meets a reporter looking for a story, she feigns sickness again for her own profit.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Ben Hecht (screen play), James Street (suggested by a story by) (as James H. Street)
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A young heiress runs away from her overprotective grandfather. Penniless on the streets of New York, she manages to find employment, but a reporter knows her true identity.

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Stars: Fredric March, Virginia Bruce, Patsy Kelly
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carole Lombard ... Hazel Flagg
Fredric March ... Wally Cook
Charles Winninger ... Dr. Enoch Downer
Walter Connolly ... Oliver Stone
Sig Ruman ... Dr. Emil Eggelhoffer (as Sig Rumann)
Frank Fay ... Master of Ceremonies
Troy Brown Sr. Troy Brown Sr. ... Ernest Walker (as Troy Brown)
Maxie Rosenbloom ... Max Levinsky
Margaret Hamilton ... Vermont Drugstore Lady
Olin Howland ... Vermont Baggage Man
Raymond Scott and His Quintet Raymond Scott and His Quintet ... Novelty Swing Orchestra (as Raymond Scott and his Quintette)
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Storyline

Hazel Flagg of Warsaw, Vermont receives the news that her terminal case of radium poisoning from a workplace incident was a complete misdiagnosis with mixed emotions. She is happy not to be dying, but she, who has never traveled the world, was going to use the money paid to her by her factory to go to New York in style. She believes her dreams can still be realized when Wally Cook arrives in town. He is a New York reporter with the Morning Star newspaper. He believes that Hazel's valiant struggle concerning her impending death is just the type of story he needs to resurrect his name within reporting circles after a recent story he wrote led to scandal and a major demotion at the newspaper. He proposes to take Hazel to New York both to report on her story but also to provide her with a grand farewell to life. She accepts. Wally's story results in Hazel becoming the toast of New York. In spending time together, Wally and Hazel fall in love. Hazel not only has to figure out what to do ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

See the big fight! LOMBARD vs MARCH. Selznick International's sensational Technicolor comedy

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 November 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La joyeuse suicidée See more »

Filming Locations:

Agoura Hills, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,831,927 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After one fight scene with Fredric March, Carole Lombard had to take the following day off to recuperate from her scratches and bruises. To discourage March's attentions, she invited him to her dressing room one night; after preliminary fumbling, March discovered to his disgust that she was wearing a rubber dildo. He never bothered her again. See more »

Goofs

From inside the plane they were flying in, Wally Cook (Fredric March) and Hazel Flagg (Carole Lombard) would have been able to read the sky-written message stating 'Hello Hazel' welcoming her to New York, but it would have been viewed backwards to anyone on the ground below, the presumed audience for it. See more »

Quotes

Wally Cook: [Defeatedly] I could do better in darkest Africa.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Each of the stars' names are shown on a title card set beside a plaster caricature. The rest of the cast have caricatures alongside their names in the credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a Cinecolor version "In Color". The credit for Natalie Kalmus as Technicolor Consultant is missing from this version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
(1843) (uncredited)
Written by David T. Shaw
Arranged by Raymond Scott
Performed by Raymond Scott and His Quintet
Played by the band for Hazel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Fun and Smart Writing!!
28 November 2000 | by alicecbrSee all my reviews

A Southern hick, I love it when Vermonters are made fun of. Of course, they are only one of the many groups this movie pokes fun at. If you don't want to see physical abuse made funny, don't see this hilarious satire on everything politically correct. Of course, what really makes this hilarious is that in 1937, they didn't KNOW it was politically incorrect to show man hitting women, to show 'darkies', irascible and rude New Englanders, etc. Then there's the propeller-driven airplanes, the first of the airliners flying right past the head of the Statue of Liberty. And guess what? Jack Welch's fortress, Rockefeller Center, looked then just like it looks now.

Some things don't change: newspaper chicanery, among others. The hoaxes they bring about, and the hoaxes they continue to abet all in the name of news, is not news anymore.....it's SOP. Right now, the current hoax is the nomenclature used to describe the appointing of the Cabinet, as though the election were a fait accomplis: "Andrew Card, the president's new appointee......" and other such insiduously assumptive language has been used before, as this movie wonderfully points out. In this case, it's a woman at death's door dying of radium poisoning.....who ain't!!! I'm giving nothing away, it's perfectly obvious from the beginning.

I suppose I should rail against the prejudice shown against all newspaper folks by the good people of Vermont, as they shut this guy out....with one toddler biting him on the leg as he walks down the street....but it just felt too good. (After all, some really do take their jobs as members of the 4th Estate and protectors of the common good seriously.)

The color is pretty good for 1937, and you'll see the Wicked Witch of the East portraying her less wicked, but still spiteful self.

What will give you chills is the pervading knowledge as you hear Carole Lombard's dialogue about death and dying...that she wasn't to ever grow old gracefully, but died in a plane crash not long after this film was made. She was a beautiful woman, and did quiet a good job of acting in this many-faceted satire of life and our attraction to dying, or the pretense of it.

Well worth your time on many levels ...just to see film-making of the 30's and how good it could be, for one.


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