Review of Quality Street

early hepburn & tone. a little dated, but fun.
9 August 2017
Hepburn had been in the biz for a few years when she made "Quality Street", a story from Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. Hepburn is "Phoebe", who had her heart set on Doctor Brown (Franchot Tone), but it was not to be. Off to war for him. Look for the awesome Estelle Winwood, in only her third role at age 54 ! And the amazing Eric Blore, who was so great as the impish butler in all those fred astaire films. When Phoebe has a reunion with Brown, she poses as her own, much younger, niece, confusing Miss Willoughby (Winwood) and her neighbors, as well as Brown. (Did you see that HAT?? it's hilarious., at 43 minutes in) Watch it just for that hat, if nothing else. It's kind of a "much ado about nothing" story, but it IS a fun, goose-chase of a caper. Fay Bainter does a great job as the fragile flower, Phoebe's sister, afraid of her own shadow. Bainter won the best supporting for Jezebel the year after making Quality Street. In our story, "the niece" spends her time flirting with Brown and everyone else. Will that make him jealous? Which one will Brown choose? or maybe neither one. Directed by George Stevens, who directed Hepburn three times. Stevens won two Oscars in the 1950s, but it wasn't while working with Hepburn. Fun running gag where every time someone knocks at a front door, all the neighbors look through the the curtains to see who is calling on their neighbor. For some reason, they hardly ever show this on Turner Classics. Granted, it's pretty lightweight, plot-wise, but it IS a fun chance to see early Hepburn and Tone. There's a blending here, where the actors are all having fun, and it comes through to the viewer. I recommend this one, if you can catch it.
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