Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Top Billed Actors: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
IMDb Rating: 6.9
*Best Picture Nominee*
Won 1 Oscar:
Best Actress - Norma Shearer
Nominated for 3 more:
Best Director - Robert Z. Leonard
Best Writing - John Meehan
Plot: Revenge sex and divorces for days.
These "Forbidden Hollywood" films are interesting to see what movies were like Pre-Code. However, this is not the only aspect that this picture has going for it. Norma Shearer carries this piece. She is the highlight of every scene and quickly became my favorite actress up to this point of the project. We get to see a range of acting with her in mushy, cliché romance scenes as well as scenes involving fights between her and Chester Morris. Quite frankly, she carries this film in every scene. The plot is interesting enough as the viewer sees how Shearer's character reacts to news that her husband is cheating on her. The pacing is good as well as the movie clocks in at just over 80 minutes and is able to show a full picture of Shearer and Morris' rocky marriage.
The acting by the other members of the ensemble is, unfortunately, not up to Shearer's talent. This is the second film Morris stars in for this project (the first being Alibi (1929)) and I haven't enjoyed either performances. His stereotypical New York accent and unexceptional dialogue sequences are something to be desired. It is to be expected for a film released in 1930, but it still must be said that the experience still feels dated. No soundtrack in between scenes makes this movie seem rather quiet. However, this is made up by using a lot of source music and a number of locations throughout New York and even Paris. Also, the motley crew of Shearer's friends were not developed very much. We see recurring characters throughout the movie, but we hardly know anything about them except they have fun at parties with Shearer and Morris.
Overall, this film is a groundbreaking achievement for Norma Shearer, who did not previously play a "sexy" role. She is the biggest reason to see this film and it is worth it.
My Score: 7/10