Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Callie and her husband hold a fancy party to announce their divorce—apparently they're going to continue to live in the same house but will be free to follow their own yearnings. Helen would like to be so bold—married to the drab Joe (who seems to be something of a hypochondriac), she's been having an affair with playboy Tony, but that has gone a bit cold as Tony pursues Connie, wife of Jack. Connie remains faithful to her husband, but she hasn't yet heard the rumors that Jack has been having a fling with a chorus girl. And so the stage is set for further affairs, threats of affairs, and (being a Hollywood film) reconciliations. This kind of comedy of romantic misadventure was common in the pre-Code era, and this one is about par for the course. None of the characters is particularly likeable, though as actors, I liked Norman Foster as Jack and Leila Hyams as Connie, the central couple (pictured). I'm not always a fan of Menjou, but as the playboy Tony, he's not bad here—though in a way, he's the villain of the piece, he's nicely ambiguous in his intentions. Mary Duncan, who retired from the screen two years later, is Helen, and Hedda Hopper has a small role as Callie, who could be seen as the catalyst for all the disgruntlement among the couples. The moral messages here are mixed: ultimately, marriage wins out, but the concept of quiet adultery on the side is given a relatively fair hearing. I enjoyed a moment when Foster hums "Singin’ in the Rain." I also enjoyed an upset Connie telling Tony to drive faster as they head to a rendezvous: "I crave speed! You don't know how I crave speed!" [TCM]

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