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

Thursday, September 13, 2012


MERRILY WE GO TO HELL (1932). Director: Dorothy Arzner.

Heavy drinking reporter Jerry Corbett (Fredric March) falls for the lovely and unspoiled heiress Joan Prentice (Sylvia Sidney) and the two are married, despite her father's (George Irving) concerns. Jerry had been carrying a torch for an actress named Claire (Adrianne Allen) and when she gets the lead in a play he's written, Jerry becomes her lover and the two have drinking parties nearly every night. [Of course later on Jerry blames Claire for all of this.] Joan decides to be sophisticated and have an "open" marriage, but it just isn't in her. Can this marriage be saved? By the end of this creaky movie -- despite the endless parties and supposed free love philosophy -- you may not care. Most of the characters are unpleasant, and you wish Joan had a little more gumption. March, Irving and especially Sidney give fine performances, but this now-dated pre-code movie is not that memorable.

Verdict: Hell might be more interesting than this. **.

No comments: