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

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Nita Martan
BORROWED WIVES (1930). Director: Frank R. Strayer.

Peter Foley (Rex Lease) has to get married by midnight or he'll forfeit a fortune. Unfortunately, the woman he loves, Alice (Vera Reynolds), is with another man, Joe (Robert Livingstone). Peter owes money to his boss, Parker (Sam Hardy), who insists that his secretary, Julia (Nita Martan), pretend to be Peter's wife. So off they all go to the creaky old home of Peter's Uncle Henry (Charles Sellon) and Aunt Mary (Dorothea Wolbert). Things are complicated when Alice and Joe show up, along with Julia's cop boyfriend, the aptly-named Bull (Paul Hurst). Borrowed Wives was probably meant to be a laugh-riot, but it isn't that funny, and it's an awkward mix of bedroom farce and "old house" movie with secret passages, people who disappear, and even a prowling bobcat  -- none of this does much good. Most of the acting is of the stilted stage variety, with people delivering their lines to the back row of the theater; Dorothea Wolbert is the worst offender.

Verdict: Forgettable creaky old movie. *1/2.

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