Insufferable comedy of manners...too quaint, too precious for words...
11 August 2006
No wonder KATHARINE HEPBURN was considered box-office poison around the time of QUALITY STREET. As a James M. Barrie heroine, she's as mannered and coy as ever in a silly, very dated comedy of manners that never manages to be the witty romp it strives to be.

Only FRANCHOT TONE gives the story any semblance of wit or reality, looking handsome and fit as the suitor who finally sees through the deception around him.

James M. Barrie has had little success in being transferred to the screen, except, of course, for his PETER PAN. His other works became feeble domestic comedies on screen--namely "Alice Sit By the Fire" which became DARLING, HOW COULD YOU? with Joan Fontaine, and worst of all, QUALITY STREET. Both deserve to be forgotten.

I would venture to guess that this is the sort of dated period fluff that gives films of the 1930s a bad name. (Unfairly so, since many films of the '30s were deservedly praised). It's so stylized in its comedy, so forced in its humor that even the wonderful ERIC BLORE is at a loss as to just how many double takes he should do. Even such wonderful actresses as ESTELLE WINWOOD and FAY BAINTER have a hard time doing anything with their material.

Do yourself a favor and skip this one. Not even the staunchest James M. Barrie fan will want to sit through it.

Trivia note: If you're alert enough, you can catch Joan Fontaine in a bit role.
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