Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No More Orchids (1932) Film Review - Carole Lombard

One of two Carole Lombard films I watched last night on Turner Classic Movies.

Plot Summary - Precode film starring Carole Lombard as Miss Anne Holt, rich, young, and beautiful heiress who goes about in a bevy of skin-tight and slinky backless gowns, furs, arms loaded up with bejeweled bracelets, and always an orchid pinned to her chest (she's also a wisecracker, and pretty heavy on the makeup). She delays the ocean liner sailing out of Cherbourg, France to New York (her granddaddy practically "owns" the line) causing shipboard stud/working man Anthony "Tony" Gage (Lyle Talbot) to deem her a "spoiled brat". She meets him on the sailing and falls for him hook, line, and sinker. But though she's loaded and gorgeous, he's not interested - so she proceeds to go "big Gage hunting", chasing after him the entire voyage, pretty much a failure (though he does seem to like her - duh). Back home, Anne's daddy who she is devoted to and calls by his first name, "Bill" (he calls her "Smudge"), helps the two hook up - and dad hits it off with Tony, great. They are in love and want to marry - and she's perfectly willing to live on his income, though he claims he doesn't make enough "even to keep her in orchids". But there's a problem - though in love with Tony Gage, she's engaged to marry a boring prince, previously arranged by stern old grump grandfather (C. Aubrey Smith) who insists she go through with the marriage or face disinheritance. Unfortunately, dad Bill has bungled his bank business and needs money - the grandfather threatens to cut him off to, so Anne decides to go through with the marriage to the prince for her father's sake and breaks it off with her true love. But Dad comes through with a rather desperate way of getting these two back together and married.

Review - An entertaining film with lots of snappy patter to keep it lively, and the star power of Carole Lombard who really makes this film. She looks particularly gorgeous here, by the way - and she gets to wear all sorts of scrumptious, figure-flattering gowns as she goes about the ship calling people "Duckie", and in pre-code style she is seen in one scene stripping down to her silk and lace undergarments. I like the relationship between Lombard's character and that of the dad (Walter Connolly), there's a lot of natural affection between them - they seem like such pals. One side character who's fun is Anne's grandmother, by her own claim "the only one in the family who can hold their liquor". I wasn't completely keen on the way this film ended - oh well. All in all, quite a good film. Rating - 8 to 9/10 stars

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