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John G. Adolfi
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Alfred E. Green
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
Commercial artist Helen Bauer believes marriage kills romance. She lives with advertising writer Don Peterson. He convinces her to marry him. He later carries on with client Peggy Smith; Helen takes up with Don's competitor Nick Malvyn. In the end, the couple agree to give marriage another chance.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I saw this film expecting an early Bette Davis effort of somewhat questionable value. Instead I found a highly entertaining film which made an artistic mark. The acting by Davis is, of course, always worth watching, but what really set this film apart was the script and the mise-en-scene.
The script, while not a masterpiece, is considerably above the norm. It is witty, and understanding of the desires, pride and foolishness of young, intelligent people in love. Bette plays it superbly with a slightly bored, worldly-wise exterior, and a passionate but somehow innocent interior. She is the focus of the film, the other actors being mainly satellites around her. They do a competent job, but the show is all hers.
The Deco sets were designed by someone with an obvious artistic talent and a flare for that style. Just looking at the sets and the costumes is worth the price of seeing the film. What is a real surprise is that the director used Bette as a kind of art object. The way she would pose and slouch, the style and color of her hair, the way she would hold her cigarette, her glass, the way she would arrange her body, and her expression so completely complement these lavish sets as to be a art display in themselves. This movie would be entertaining if you turned off the sound track and just watched the visuals - it is that good.
I am completely unfamiliar with the director, Robert Florey. In looking over the names of his films, none stand out for me as films of importance. Apparently he was awarded a French medal for his contributions to Cinema. If this film is any indication, and if he is truly responsible for the artistic elements in this film, then he is a very overlooked and important director.
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