A newspaper man, his ignored fiancée, and his former employee, a down on his luck reporter, hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth in order to prevent a high-society woman from suing for libel.
Millicent Jordan is pre-occupied with the plans she is making for a high-class dinner party. Her husband Oliver is in failing health, and he is also worried because someone is trying to buy up the stock in his shipping business - even his old friend Carlotta wants to sell her stock. Hoping to get help from businessman Dan Packard, he persuades Millicent, against her wishes, to invite Packard and his wife to the dinner. As Oliver's problems get worse, Millicent is increasingly quick-tempered because the plans for the party are not going smoothly. As the time for the dinner approaches, it appears that the hosts and the guests will all have plenty on their minds.Written by
The dowager character played by Marie Dressler is reportedly based on actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell, for whom George Bernard Shaw wrote the role of Eliza Doolittle in the play "Pygmalion", the basis for the musical My Fair Lady (1964). Mrs. Campbell was legendary for her inappropriate remarks, and she failed dismally in an attempt at a Hollywood film career. See more »
As Dan is talking to her, Carlotta holds her suddenly unlit cigarette in her left hand. As she crosses to the door to exit, the cigarette shifts to her right hand and is lit again. See more »
I happened across this film today and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is much to be praised in this film, as most of the previous reviews have detailed, so I won't go on long about it. (Though I'd never seen or heard of Marie Dressler before and now I have to find some of her other movies -- anyone else think she resembles Lois Smith?)
What was remarkable to me about the film was its timelessness. So many of the problems and situations embedded in the plot can be found in the headlines of today's newspapers and tabloids. Of course economic downturns, adultery, and social-climbing are common fodder for movies, but it is unusual for classic films to go into some of the nasty details without becoming melodramatic; they describe sexual addiction, for heaven's sake! I've never seen humanity so realistically portrayed in a classic film before (despite the moments that some would call "over-acting") and so this movie made me feel more connected to the past than I have ever before.
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