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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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

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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

This was Carole Lombard's only Technicolor film. See more »

Goofs

In the final scenes aboard ship, the sun is setting over the waves in the background. The waves are breaking, however, indicating the background was filmed from a beach rather than from a ship out at sea. See more »

Quotes

Wally Cook: Are you stewed or something? I came in her for congratulations. What's up? What's eating you?
Oliver Stone: I am sitting here, Mr. Cook, trying to figure some way out of the blackest disaster that has ever struck down an innocent man since the days of Judas Iscariot.
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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 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Dark Eyes
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Raymond Scott
Performed by Raymond Scott and His Quintet
Played for Catherine the Great sequence
See more »

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User Reviews

Very Sharp-Edged, Sweeping Satirical Comedy
4 April 2005 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

The writers, crew, and cast of "Nothing Sacred" really do treat everything in accordance with the movie's title. No aspect of human society is immune from the sweeping satire. The comedy is fast-paced and often very sharp-edged, and almost any viewer will find it hitting close to home at one time or another, so it is best not to take it too personally. Yet this is not a mean-spirited feature, in that it treats everyone the same way, and it shows sympathy even for the very characters whose faults it so ruthlessly exposes.

Frederic March, as a hardened newsman, and Carole Lombard, as an appealing woman who is nevertheless living a lie, make a good combination. They are both likable enough to make you care about them even when they are at their most opportunistic. The supporting cast, likewise, features several good performances, with the likes of Walter Connolly and Sig Rumann getting some fine moments of their own. William Wellman shows a good feel for the material, getting good mileage out of the story without pushing it too far.

This kind of feature is somewhat unusual even among movies of its genre. Most satires choose their targets, ridicule them, and put the opposing forces in a positive light. But "Nothing Sacred" takes no sides between the small town and the big city, between the powerful and the powerless, or between one character and another. It points out the human flaws to be found in almost all of us.

This is the kind of movie that can only be enjoyed if you don't take it personally or too seriously, because in that case the message will be misunderstood. Rather than targeting any one kind of person, it intends to make some more general points about human nature that, while sometimes rather pointed, are encased in enough humor to make them palatable.


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