Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two from '32: Faithless and Emma

Faithless (1932)

During the first fifteen minutes of this movie, I was tempted to turn it off. A somewhat stilted "society" story (say that three times fast!) wasn't exactly what I had in mind. But Tallulah Bankhead - wonderful, gutsy, alluring Tallulah - kept me watching, and I am so glad I did. The picture changes from a glimpse into the lives of the rich and idle to a gritty, honest portrayal of the Depression and its struggles. Stick with it; Robert Montgomery gives an excellent performance as Bill Wade, boyfriend of Carol (Bankhead) and the one constant in her rapidly deteriorating life, even through his own difficult and often painful circumstances. A bit predictable in spots, but definitely forgiven. Watch for the scene where Carol is leaving for the drug store (near the end).

I give this one:

Emma (1932)

I am becoming a huge fan of Marie Dressler! Her facial expressions (something I mentioned when reviewing The Patsy) are unlike anyone else's I've come across. Here she plays a faithful and affectionate nanny, who - after thirty years of serving the Smith family with utmost care and love - becomes the object of a lawsuit filed by the very children she raised. Why? You have to watch it. It'll break your heart for more than one reason. While Dressler's performance was top-notch, the plot is predictable - and her constant apologizing was irritatingly unnecessary. (Perhaps Emma was just a better woman than I.) The always terrific Jean Hersholt costars as Mr Smith, and look for Myrna Loy as the oldest daughter, Isabelle.

I give this one:


Kate said...

Both of these films are favorites of mine- I was so happy when TCM played Faithless recently since I hadn't seen it in years. Don't you with Tallulah had made more movies?! Robert Osborne said that the picture didn't do her justice, but I don't know how audiences weren't clamoring to see more of her after this..

Emma just breaks my heart- I think Marie Dressler is just precious in it!

Avalon76 said...

I'd never even heard of these pictures before - they are truly wonderful! I actually thought Tallulah was very good in it.

Marie Dressler is a revelation. I know that's a cliched phrase, but it's so true. I am incensed that I missed "Min and Bill"! I need to see more of her.

(p.s. Congratulations on Flapperdoodles taking the 'net by storm! ^_^ )

Sarah said...

I'm glad you watched Faithless all the way through- I thought Tallulah Bankhead was wonderful!

Lolita Kane said...

Oh, a pre-Thin Man Myrna Loy! That is always an object of interest.
I have both these films and have seen none! Thank you so much for your great, short reviews - they really encourage me!

Jessica Cangiano said...

I'm never seen Emma before, but the plot you described has absolutely hooked my interest. I will definitely be adding this to me "must watch movie list".

Thank you very much for recently entering my giveaway for a beautiful set of Jessie Willcox Smith art prints. The lucky winner is going to drawn at random and announced on Chronically Vintage later today. I really appreciate your support of this giveaway and wish you the best of luck!

Have a fantastic Tuesday, honey!
♥ Jessica