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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

24 HOURS (1931)

Kay Francis and Clive Brook
24 HOURS (1931). Director: Marion Gering.

At a party Jim Towner (Clive Brook) turns to his wife, Fanny (Kay Francis), and asks her where things went wrong. Turns out both of them are seeing other people, with Fanny dallying with David (Minor Watson), and Jim fooling around with singer, Rosie Duggan (Miriam Hopkins). Rosie has thrown out her hoodlum husband, Tony (Regis Toomey), and trouble starts when he demands to be let back into her life again. One of the main characters winds up murdering another, with suspicion falling on a third. 24 Hours doesn't work as drama, mystery, or even melodrama, as it seems too long even at a mere 66 minutes. Of the cast Regis Toomey [Shopworn] comes off best, with Wade Boteler [The Green Hornet] also scoring as the doorman Pat, who is Rosie's brother. Clive Brook isn't bad, but he makes a rather dull leading man, and Francis is competent but not given very much to do as his wife. Miriam Hopkins [Lady with Red Hair] get a little more screen time as Rosie, bur her delivery of a couple of torch songs is almost ruined by her voice. Francis and Hopkins, although involved with the same man, don't have a single scene together, stripping the film of its main point of interest. Its stage origins are apparent, although one can't imagine this was ever any world-beater.

Verdict: This positively creaks. Even if you like Francis and Hopkins this is one you can miss. *1/2.


angelman66 said...

Too bad, what a cast...some of those 1930s films sparkle, others are really flat.
My favorite Hopkins roles are later on, when she became a supporting actor, like The Heiress and the remake of The Children's Hour. Old Acquaintance with Bette Davis is another favorite!

William said...

All good choices for Hopkins! I didn't expect a "cat fight" between Hopkins and Francis, but I did hope they'd at least have a scene together!