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

Thursday, November 17, 2011


HOUSEWIFE (1934). Director: Alfred E. Green.

Nan Reynolds (Ann Dvorak) helps to push her husband Bill (George Brent) to success, then has to deal with it when he falls in love with a man-hungry co-worker, Patricia Berkeley (Bette Davis) and says he wants to marry her. You can argue that the film is fairly predictable and formulaic, but it's also well-acted by the principals and surprisingly entertaining. Dvorak is very lovely and capable, Brent proves again that he could give many a winning performance, and Davis is saucy and likable despite her "bad girl" role. John Halliday and Ruth Donnelly also score as, respectively, one of Bill's clients (in his advertising business), who falls for Nan, and Nan's amused and amusing sister-in-law, Dora. NOTE: Now available in a remastered edition from Warner Archives.

Verdict: Easy to take and quite enjoyable, with a winning cast. ***

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