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

Monday, September 22, 2008

TRANSGRESSION


TRANSGRESSION (1931). Director: Herbert Brenon.

"It is not wise to leave a beautiful young woman alone in Paris too long."
 You can say that again. Robert Maury, (Paul Cavanagh) sends his wife Elsie (Kay Francis) to Paris for a year while he's seeing to some tedious stuff in a rough environment abroad. Before long Elsie is being wined and dined by the handsome Spaniard Arturo (Ricardo Cortez, pictured), who maneuvers her into visiting him in Spain without an escort. Elsie decides to send her husband a letter asking for a divorce -- and well, things don't quite work out the way anyone hoped they would. Good performances by the three leads -- Cortez is especially memorable -- bolster this otherwise pedestrian romance/soap opera, which is nevertheless reasonably absorbing. The ending is just a touch pat. Nance O'Neil, who was rumored to be Lizzie Borden's lover, is vivid as a witchy relative of Robert's who hates his wife.
Verdict: Ricky and Kay make an interesting couple. **1/2.

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