Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Carole Lombard Made for Each Other/Nothing Sacred|
Actor: Carole Lombard
Genres: Comedy, Television
THE SCREWBALL QUEEN OF THE SILVER SCREEN IN TWO CLASSIC FILMS! Made for Each Other (1939) 85 min B&W — Starring: Carole Lombard, James Stewart, Charles Coburn, Lucile Watson — Director: John Cromwell — Newlyweds John and Jan... more »
Lombard Shines...Even in Poor Print Transfers
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 12/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Witnessing the luminescence of screen legend Carole Lombard is always a treat, and this bargain-priced two-fer showcases her in two of her most memorable films, 1939's "Made for Each Other" and 1937's "Nothing Sacred". It's unfortunate the print transfers on both films is quite lacking with an excessive amount of graininess and sound pops. However, mere technicalities do not prevent Lombard's charisma and beauty from shining through.
Watching an impossibly young James Stewart teamed with Lombard, then the screen's reigning screwball comedienne, is treat enough in itself, but the 1939 dramedy, "Made for Each Other", directed by John Cromwell has them working overtime on a cliché-bound plot about young, struggling marrieds, John and Jane Mason, who face an unexpected crisis. Penned by Jo Swerling, the script throws in every movie-invented barrier to their happiness - John's dominating mother who lives with them, his unreasonably demanding boss, a series of impossible domestics, and a surprise pregnancy which eventually leads to a melodramatic turn that involves a plane flying through an unrelenting thunderstorm.
None of it should work, but somehow it does because Stewart is so callow and sincere, Lombard so earthy and knockout gorgeous, and their relationship quite convincing. Playing their standard character roles during this period, Charles Coburn plays John's hearing-impaired blowhard of a boss, Judge Doolittle, while Lucile Watson is her imperious self as the mother-in-law from hell criticizing Jane's every move. My favorite player is Louise Beavers, who briefly plays the one maid the Masons adore. The Masons' financial straits force her to leave but not before a lovely scene between her and Lombard in the park. The movie was produced by David O. Selznick, who was preoccupied with post-production work on "Gone With the Wind" but you can definitely see his influence in the film's technical polish.
The one conceit of 1937's "Nothing Sacred" is how Lombard's stunning glamour, especially in the newspaper photos, seems at odds with the innocent small-town girl she portrays in this screwball comedy classic directed in lickety-split fashion by the two-fisted William "Wild Bill" Wellman. She never lets her beauty get in the way of being funny, and her effervescent manner makes her seem dotty enough to make the crazy situations she gets into believable. Moreover, the film's constant tweaking at the public obsession over a young woman's impending death predates the concept of reality programming by nearly 70 years.
For a movie that clocks in at just 75 minutes, the far-fetched story is fairly dense but clips by without a wasted moment. In brief, Wally Cook is a New York tabloid reporter relegated to the obituaries after his most recent story is exposed as fake. Seeking to rehabilitate his career, he uncovers a story on Hazel Flagg, a woman in rural Vermont dying of radium poisoning. When he arrives in her town, she suddenly learns that her diagnosis was a mistake and that she is not dying at all. However, feeling constrained by her small town existence, Hazel pretends to be terminally ill in order to accept Wally's offer to take her to New York City. In true 1930's fashion, New York pours its heart out to her making her an instant media celebrity. Hazel starts to feel guilty over the misdirected attention, and of course, Wally and Hazel find themselves falling in love amid all the deception and inevitable chaos.
Just coming off his classic dramatic turn in the most cohesive version of "A Star Is Born", stalwart leading actor Fredric March gamely plays the initially cynical Wally with the right everyman demeanor, while Lombard makes Hazel a sublime comic creation even though the character is basically a selfish charlatan. Familiar character actors complete the cast with Walter Connolly in constipated frustration as Wally's constantly boiling editor-in-chief (aptly named Oliver Stone), Charles Winninger properly pixilated as Hazel's fraud of a doctor, and familiar faces like Sig Ruman, Margaret Hamilton, Hattie McDaniel and Hedda Hopper in little more than walk-on parts."