A wealthy woman, trying to discourage a former boyfriend from pursuing her, hires a young songwriter who needs money to pay off his gambling debts to pretend to be her boyfriend. The ... See full summary »
While in a train halted at a station, Nikki Collins witnesses a murder committed in a nearby building. When she brings the police to the scene of the crime, they think she's crazy since ... See full summary »
Edward Everett Horton
As her fifth wedding anniversary approaches, a woman realizes that she is fed up with always coming in second to her husband's advertising business. Just at the moment when she is trying to... See full summary »
Princess Victoria 'Vicki' Wilomirska and Baron Nicholas Eugen August Wolfgang 'Nikki' Prax are expatriate European nobles with no assets or property except their aristocratic pedigrees. They have become professional house guests at homes of socially ambitious nouveau riche Americans who want the prestige of playing hosts to these titled spongers. However, when Vicki and Nikki want to get married, they find that married royals are not in demand as eligibly unmarried ones. Ultimately one of these socially attractive, unambitious bluebloods will have to do the unthinkable and actually get a job.Written by
I have never seen Norma Shearer look more beautiful than she does in this picture - and that's saying a lot. Nor is she as mannered as in some of her better-known pictures, like *The Women*. Melvyn Douglas, one of my favorite actors, also looks great here.
Unfortunately, there isn't anything to the script. They and the rest of the cast, some of them very fine actors, are left with nothing to work with.
There is no pacing here either. We just go from one scene to the next with no sense of forward motion. Compare it to *The Women*, for example, which builds to the great final scene where all the women come together and destroy Joan Crawford's character. Or better yet, compare it to another film directed by Robert Z. Leonard just two years before, *Pride and Prejudice*, which is one of the most perfectly paced movies I have ever seen.
Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that this 95 minute movie was based on a one-act play, and had to be padded.
Perhaps the play on which is it based, Noel Coward's one-acter of the same name, just isn't very good. The best of Coward is fun when done well by any cast, but I've encountered some Coward plays, like *Conversation Piece*, that only seem to work when he's in them. He was a very good actor in his own way, and could make uninteresting dialogue sound very clever just by the way he delivered it. Coward premiered this play with himself and Gertrude Lawrence, one of his great partners, in the leads in both London and New York. Their way of working with dialogue together may well have had a lot to do with the play's initial success, more than the play itself.
I wasn't bored. Shearer was so beautiful, I spent much of the time just looking at her face. The lead characters have no real depth, so it took no great acting to portray them. Nor are they particularly interesting or attractive. They are leaches who live off the nouveau riche, whom they disdain, so they really aren't particularly likable. You can imagine some of the dialogue appealing to New York theater goers in the 1930s when it was still fashionable to make fun of people simply because they came from Des Moines or Buffalo or Ashtabula or ..... I can't imagine this movie having a lot of success outside a few big cities, though. It's sophistication is pretty thin.
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