5/10
A little silly
31 October 2017
On Quality Street, women occupy their time by either witnessing or passing gossip about their friends and neighbors. Whenever there's a gentleman caller, all the neighbors peer out their windows and stare, taking note of how he was dressed, if he brought flowers, and how long he stayed. What else is there to do in 1805?

Katharine Hepburn and her old maid sister Fay Bainter live on Quality Street, and while they primarily socialize with other old maids and gossipers in town, Kate has one particular friend she treasures: the dashing Franchot Tone. She's known Franchot for a year, and when she thinks he's going to propose, the rumor gets spread all over town. It turns out he enlisted in the army instead, and Kate feels humiliated. Ten years later, Franchot comes home from the war. He's a little gray at the temples, and Kate is no longer the blushing beauty he remembers. Can they fall in love again or is it too late?

While it has an intriguing premise, the rest of the film is pretty silly. In order to get him back, Kate throws caution to the wind and acts like a harlot with all the other men in town, and her mischief-making gets a little long in the tooth after a few scenes. It is great fun to see Kate all dolled up, though. She's more beautiful than she's ever looked in her movies, and her flirtations are charming and sweet. I'm fans of both Kate and Franchot, but Fay Bainter was my favorite character in the film. She was unselfish and a wonderful sister, and I wish she'd taken some screen time away from Kate's silliness.
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