"Nice one. Leslie Howard is a lot more interesting in this than he ever was as Ashley Wilkes. Perenially sympathetic Myrna Loy is sexy and not so nice. Ann Harding and William Gargan are quite solid. The dialogue is snappy and great. The acting is first rate. The conflict itself doesn't have so much merit. This is rather a shallow and quickly told story about a man choosing depth over surface. But still the movie is a lot more vibrant than some of today's fare, at once a little bit thoughtful and entertaining."
I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!
Fernando Silva | Santiago de Chile. | 08/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In my opinion, a great film adaptation of Philip Barry's Play, with a luminous performance by grand actress, Ann Harding; Myrna Loy is excellent too, as Leslie Howard's alluring, sensual and manipulative wife; Leslie Howard's good as usual, and all of them get fine support from Neil Hamilton, Ilka Chase, Henry Stephenson, and especially, William Gargan, who is hilarious as a joke of a butler! (he's an ex-fighter). Perhaps it may be regarded as kind of talky and stagy by today's standards, but anyway it's pretty adult stuff with great dialogues and subtleties, and a great example of what could be done with a fine script and cast, before the Production Code was fully enforced in 1934."
Prometheus | USA | 08/22/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Alpha Version of this Historic film, the first shown on the opening night of Radio City Music Hall, is exceptional, and the best Alpha print I have ever seen. This is also a smart, intelligent film. More prints like this one and Millie could give Alpha a better reputation than it currently has."
Samantha Kelley | USA | 09/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Animal Kingdom features one of the more shocking elements of the pre-code era. It revolves around a man, his former mistress, and his current wife. Leslie Howard plays Tom Collier, a wealthy man whose family wishes he would settle down and be more dignified. He does so with Cecilia (Myrna Loy), a somewhat haughty, controlling woman from high society. However, in order to make his marriage work, his mistress Daisy (Ann Harding) breaks ties with him. He is hurt by the separation and begins to pursue her without realizing his true feelings for her.
The relationships between the characters are very believable and engrossing. It helps that the stars are phenomenal actors. Howard is particularly wonderful. His acting is subtle but charming, intelligent, and powerful. Everything he says seems important and thoughtful, even if he's delivering a casual response. Harding complements him well. Although some of her gestures seem very overt and stereotypical, it is difficult not to believe them to be true. She is entirely genuine and agreeable."
SOLID EARLY TALKIE.
scotsladdie | 09/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Philip Barry's very successful stage play was the basis for this well-acted romantic vehicle which should still appeal to the sophisticated and intellectual. Howard plays a rich publisher who leaves his artist-mistress to marry socially active Loy, only to discover that the security of married life doesn't exist: his wife turns out to be a Lorelei who's encouraging an affair with another man (Hamilton)... In an ironic and interesting contrast, Loy acts more like his mistress and Harding is more wife-like. Howard's acting expertise is shown to advantage here, he being caught in a classic triangle and eventually realising just how essentially shallow Loy really is and what a prize he had in Harding. Ann Harding gives her usual sensitively sincere performance and although Myrna Loy was not yet considered star material when she was given the role of Cecilia, she clearly gives a masterful portrayal of the flirtatious vixen. There is a splendidly amusing performance given by William Gargan as Regan the butler: at a party, he pours himself drinks and oafishly makes himself at home, acting as if he belonged among the elite company. It is, however, Howard who carries the film: he was the epitome of the sensitive gentleman in films such as this in the decade of the 1930's."