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

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Henrietta Crosman
THE CURTAIN FALLS (1934). Director: Charles Lamont.

A broke elderly woman crosses the Atlantic, shows up at an old British manor house, and announces to the family that she is Aunt Hettie, the infamous Lady Scorsby. Accepted into the family Hettie sees that there are problems that need her attention, and she sets out to make things right. Dorothy (Dorothy Lee) has fallen in love with a man, Barry (William Bakewell of Battle of the Sexes), of whom the family doesn't approve, and her mother Katherine (Natalie Moorhead) is falling for the married Lothario, Martin (Jameson Thomas). Her husband, John (Holmes Herbert of Daughter of the Dragon), has had business reversals and is living on bluff. His son Allan (John Darrow) owes a great deal of money to gambling den owner Taggart (Eddie Kane). But the biggest secret is held by Hettie herself. As a drama this film is no great shakes, but it's bolstered by the performance of Crosman and has a moving wind-up and several adept portrayals from the supporting cast. Hettie putting one over on Taggart in his own crooked gambling den is a highlight of the movie. Lamont was a prolific director of certain Abbott and Costello movies as well as such films as Chip Off the Old Block.

Verdict: An engaging lead performance and an interesting situation never hurt. ***.

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