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

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Isabel Jewell and Regis Toomey
SHE HAD TO CHOOSE (1934). Director: Ralph Ceder.

Sally Bates (Isabel Jewell) makes her way to Hollywood and a hopefully better life, but would have wound up sleeping in her car were it not for the kindness of Bill Cutler (Buster Crabbe), who runs a food stand with his mother (Maidel Turner of State of the Union). Bill develops feelings for Sally, although he already has a girlfriend in wealthy, snooty Clara (Sally Blane). However he has a rival for Sally's affections in Jack Berry (Regis Toomey of Shopworn), who loves to drink and party. In the meantime, Bill's mother turns out not to be quite as nice as she at first seems. Jewell [The Seventh Victim] is an appealing performer, the other cast members are fine, but She Had to Choose becomes increasingly ridiculous and melodramatic. The funniest scene -- intended to be dramatic -- is when Sally rips off a dress she is wearing [unbeknownst to her it belongs to Clara] after an altercation and runs out of a nightclub in her slip. And things get more ridiculous after that! One assumes the title has to do with which man Sally will choose, as she really isn't given any other "choices" in the movie.

Verdict: Don't choose this movie. *1/2.

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