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

Monday, September 29, 2008


DR. MONICA (1934). Director: William Keighley.
Now here's a sick situation. Dr. Monica Braden (Kay Francis, pictured) is a baby doctor who's unable to have a baby of her own. She officiates over the pregnancy of her friend Mary (Jean Muir), unaware that the baby's father is none other than her, Monica's, husband John (Warren William), with whom Mary had an affair! You have to take a few things -- especially the ending -- with a grain of salt, but Dr. Monica is a well turned out soaper with superlative performances and an intriguing situation. Francis is on top of things as the doctor who finds herself in a rather grotesque spot, Muir gives a sensitively drawn performance, and Verree Teasdale is sharp and snappy as their mutual friend and confidante, Anna. Warren William isn't given much of a characterization in this, but he plays as well as ever.
Verdict: Surprisingly effective if you're game. ***.

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