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

Monday, September 15, 2008


GIVE ME YOUR HEART (1936). Director: Archie Mayo.
Belinda Warren (Kay Francis) is in love with Bob Melford (Patric Knowles) who has a disabled wife, Rosamond (Freida Inescort). When Belinda becomes pregnant, Bob's father, Lord Farrington (Henry Stephenson) makes a deal for Belinda to give up the child to Bob and Rosamond, telling her that otherwise she has little to offer the child. (It never occurs to Belinda to make the point that the child will be his grandchild no matter who raises it, and you'd think he'd want to provide for it no matter what.) Traveling on a train, Belinda encounters Jim Baker (George Brent) and marries him, but her brooding over the past threatens their marriage until an old friend drastically takes matters into his hands.
Give Me Your Heart is a likable, at times touching, movie that is greatly bolstered by some fine dialogue and an excellent cast at their best. Kay Francis gives one of her best performances as Belinda, and Roland Young is terrific as her buddy "Tubbs." Francis and Brent always made a good team, and in this Young and Helen Flint (as Belinda's doctor Florence Cudahy) also make a grand screen couple. (The protracted scene when the two "meet cute," nearly grabbing the same cab, then keep bumping into each other until they realize they're going to the exact same place, is one of the best scenes in the movie.) Zeffie Tilbury scores as Belinda's grumpy Aunt Esther. Francis has a sublime moment when she looks at a picture of her little boy at a very awkward gathering, and she and Freida Inescort have a very good scene as the two women manage to bond with each other despite the events of the past. Warm, humorous and sentimental in the right way, Give Me Your Heart is one of Francis's best features. Nice score, too.
Verdict: Kay fans should pounce. ***.

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