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

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Irene Hervey and Donald Cook on the run
MOTIVE FOR REVENGE (1935). Director: Burt P. Lynwood.

Muriel (Irene Hervey) is a wealthy woman married to a comparably poor bank teller named Barry (Donald Cook) who apparently prefers that they live on his salary. Muriel's mother (Doris Lloyd) resents the hell out of this and nags him to make something more out of himself and for Muriel to get rid of him. The weak, stupid Barry robs a bank and is captured after a high-speed chase with police. Although Muriel promises to wait for him until he gets out of jail, she quite sensibly divorces him at the urging of her mother and marries the odious and insanely jealous older man, Bill (Edwin Maxwell). And then things get even more melodramatic when Barry gets out of jail ... There's a murder, a robbery plot, a chase on the river, all of it told in mostly unexceptional fashion, but the weird thing is that seven years in jail seems to have made Barry suave. The acting isn't bad, and the movie isn't terrible, just not very memorable. Although Muriel's mother is unpleasant and snobbish, some of her attitudes toward Barry are completely justified. Irene Hervey was in Manhandled in a very different sort of role years later, and appeared sporadically as Aunt Meg on Honey West. Cook was in Frisco Jenny and Lloyd was in the 1931 Waterloo Bridge.

Verdict: Women who love not wisely but well. **.

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