Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Olivia de Havilland has a crush on Walter Woolf King
CALL IT A DAY (1937). Director: Archie Mayo.

"For utter indecency, give me the high-minded!"

Spring is in the air and romantic thoughts are surrounding the members of the veddy British Hilton family. Catherine (Olivia de Havilland) is thoroughly and painfully infatuated with a married painter named Paul (Walter Woolf King of Swiss Miss). Her brother Martin (Peter Willes) is smitten with the pretty next-door neighbor, Joan (Anita Louise). His father, Roger (Ian Hunter), finds himself pondering the possibility of an illicit relationship with a flirtatious client, while his wife Dorothy (Freida Inescort of Juke Box Rhythm) is pursued by Frank (Roland Young), who thinks she is the prospective bride his sister has picked out for him. You really want to like this movie with its memorable cast but it just sort of sputters along without reaching any great comedic or dramatic highlights and generally the characters are more types than real people. Yet de Havilland is wonderful, limning young unrequited love with unbridled passion, and King expertly portrays the man who is sorely attracted to her but also respectful of his wife, Ethel (a notable Peggy Wood of The Bride Wore Boots). Inescort, Hunter and Young also give excellent performances, and there's fine support from Bonita Granville and Una O'Connor. Archie Mayo also directed the superior Give Me Your Heart.

Verdict: Great cast and some good scenes but it's just nothing special. **.

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