As potent today as it was when released in 1937, this classic screwball satire stars Carole Lombard as Hazel Flagg, the small-town girl who mistakenly believes she's dying of radium poisoning. Sensing a great human interes... more »t story that will tug the public's heartstrings and help sell newspapers, exploitative journalist Wally Cook (Fredric March) brings Hazel to New York City and turns her into a media darling. Wally's callous strategy takes a sudden turn when he starts having feelings for the vulnerable Hazel. Filmed in early three-strip Technicolor and scripted by Ben Hecht and James H. Street, this sharp comedy still sizzles with its cynical take on media profiteering, and the matching of Lombard and March is unforgettably entertaining. The digital video disc features two Mack Sennett comedy shorts in two-strip Technicolor, the original theatrical trailer for Nothing Sacred, and rarely seen home movies from the archives of legendary Hollywood couple Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. --Jeff Shannon« less
Jeffrey Ellis | Richardson, Texas United States | 11/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Much like Marilyn Monroe, Carole Lombard continues to intrigue even decades after her own untimely death. An actress skilled at drama but showing a distinct preference for comedy, Lombard mixed her stunning beauty with a genuinely quick wit and a sharp, sarcastic intelligence. On screen, she was someone who, even at her most vulenerable, could still obviously take care of herself. Whereas the joy from watching Katharine Hepburn's screwball comedies came from seeing the haughty Hepburn brought down a notch or two, the joy of Lombard's films was watching her force the rest of the world to come up a few notches to meet her. One of her most enduring (and endearing) turns came in the 1936 film Nothing Sacred. In a plot recycled in countless films since, Lombard is mistakenly told that she is dying. A small-town girl, Lombard's one wish is to see New York before she dies. Natrually, New York's high society welcomes her with open arms and Lombard, on account of her impending death, becomes the toast of the town. Of course, this is when Lombard finds out that she's not dying. This is where Nothing Sacred differs from nearly every other film ripped off from it since. Instead of humbly admitting the truth, once-innocent Lombard carries on the charade because she's grown to love the attention! Whereas in today's Hollywood, nervous studio execs would wonder if this made Lombard an unlikeable character for middle America, the classic screwball comedies of the '30s had the guts to simply go with their outrageous situations. Instead of simply going out of their way to conform to presumed audience expectations, filmmakers like Howard Hawks and William A. Wellman (who directed this film in a nicely breezy style) understood that if they simply went to the trouble to 1) find a good script and 2) cast talented performers like Lombard, audiences would be willing to follow their films wherever they led. To be honest, I suspect audiences haven't changed but unfortunately, filmmaking has. The screwball comedy is a genre that modern Hollywood tries to recreate every couple of years. Usually, they fail. Luckily, we have films like Nothing Sacred, My Man Godfrey, 20th Century, and others to remind us of how wonderful these films (and their stars) truly were."
Yumpin' Yiminee! Comedy and commentary in a perfect union!
Kelly Dillman | Pittsburgh, PA | 05/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"NOTHING SACRED has all the right elements to make it a classic screwball comedy. It's short (a mere 74 minutes), has tight and fast scenes, some out-of-the-blue and very odd occurences (as mentioned by others, the boy biting March is a riot), stars who aren't afraid to get silly or messy to produce the best laugh, and a strong, scathing message.Ben Hecht's script is excellent, providing many belly laughs during the movie, and chuckles long after the VCR or DVD player has been shut off. Carole Lombard is her hilarious wacky self. I love black and white movies, but I must admit the Technicolor really allowed me to appreciate her full beauty. And as for Fredric March, well, I've always had a sweet spot for his acting, and he certainly didn't disappoint in this production. He and Lombard balance each other out perfectly. And, as was characteristic of the great comedies of the 30s, the supporting characters excel in their roles to round out a practically perfect comedy.As far as the film itself, there were three aspects that I particularly enjoyed. One being the sincere, in your face view of male/female relationships. The bedroom fighting scene between March and Lombard is hilarious, one of the highlights of the movie, but would never make it on screen in any of today's movies. In today's movie world where you can't offend ANYONE (except Christians or Republicans), and you usually can't show any kind of physical humor toward women (yet it's OK to beat the guy to a pulp), the un-PC nature of this 60+ year old production gives it unexpected freshness.A second uncommon point is the change in the romantic comedy formula. You know, it almost always goes boy meets girl, boy and girl are together for awhile having a jim-dandy time, boy and girl break up after tiff or misunderstanding of some sort, boy or girl makes a witty, cutesy speech to get them back together. This movie changes at least the last part of that formula to focus the last question from "How will they get back together?" to "How will they get out of the problem together?". Nice little twist.A final interesting aspect was the deliberate hiding of Lombard and March's faces during most of their more intimate scenes. This is fitting considering the movie was a rail against the mass media's need to sensationalize and exploit every intimate thing (and the masses' willingness to happily join in the explotation).If you enjoyed BRINGING UP BABY or IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, you're bound to enjoy this film. If you enjoy this film, but haven't seen the other two I mentioned, check them out! Chances are you won't be disappointed!"
Mr Peter G George | Ellon, Aberdeenshire United Kingdom | 03/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nothing Sacred is often referred to as a screwball comedy. Granted it has Carole Lombard the ultimate screwball heroine and other elements which suggest this form of comedy. However, it does not in the end so much resemble films like Bringing up Baby as it anticipates the later satires of Preston Sturges. Whichever way it is classified though, Nothing Sacred remains one of the best comedies of the thirties or indeed of any era. This film, with its story of an apparently dying young woman, has an added poignancy for viewers watching it today. Lombard would be dead by 1942 and a real national heroine also with a navy warship named after her. The fiction at times seems to look ahead to the fact and thus the story becomes moving as well as funny. The print of the film on this Lumivision DVD is on the whole good. There are some scenes especially at the beginning of the film where the early Technicolor print has been damaged. This means that there is some flickering and some separation of the colours. For the most part however, the film looks almost perfect with the vibrant colours so typical of thirties Technicolor. It is a joy to see Carole Lombard in colour and something of a surprise also, for her hair looks redder than expected. There are one of two slight jumps where the continuity of the film has been broken and this may account for the running time of the film, at 73 minutes, being slightly shorter than that listed in some sources. The extras on this DVD are welcome but rather disappointing. The two Sennett short comedies are not very funny and really show that he had not moved on at all from his early pioneering days. These shorts are of interest mainly because they allow us to see a young and barely recognizable Lombard toiling away in her pre-stardom days. The DVD also includes a very damaged trailer for Nothing Sacred and some interesting if rather brief home movies with Lombard and Gable."
Amazing movie....pretty medicore transfer
B. Margolis | Minneapolis, MN United States | 10/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the 15 all-time greatest screwball comedies of the 1930's...and the only one that was in Technicolor. Problem is that Selnick sold the rights to it (it's in the public domain) sometime in the 1940's and it's very hard to find a decent of print of this (despite the fact that The Museum Of Modern Art completely resotred the movie to it's original Technicolor splendor...but they stupidly won't release it on VHS or DVD to the public...) Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Walter Connolly, and Charles Winninger have never been better. Absolutely first rate film directed by William Wellman and screenplay by Ben Hecht. Worth buying, despite the medicore quality (and occasional blurriness)."
Carole Lombard #1 Comedian of the 30's !!! Great DVD xfer!
forrie | Nashua, NH United States | 10/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Carole Lombard was an intelligent beautiful natural blonde, the greatest female Screwball comedian , highest paid actress, wife of Clark Gable and one of the most powerful woman in Hollywood during the 1930's until her untimely death in 1942. This beautifully restored DVD gives us a taste of Carole Lombard and the effect she had to audiences of the 30's. This was her only Technicolor movie she ever made. So sit back and watch her natural beauty and acting genius evolve on the screen. Fredric March as her co-star adds to this adorably humorous film.In Summary: A Vermont girl Hazel Flagg (Lombard) in diagnosed in having radium poisoning (terminal). A hot shot New York Jounalist (March)reads about this in a newspaper and wants to use this event to raise his magazines popularity by sponsoring Hazel. Bringing her to New York City and presenting her with the "Keys to the City" and VIP status raises great public awareness. All the time using public sympathy to raise magazine sales.Hazel finds out she was mis-diagnosed and reluctantly continues on with the scam. In the meantime March starts falling in love with Hazel and he wants her to rest and be comfortable until her end comes. As you can see this has a strange twist of events which is the main ingredient to the "SCREWBALL COMEDIES" of the 30's. Proving "Nothing's Sacred"!!!
The extras include: 2 early silent Lombard movies and Gable & Lombard home movies. This is a collectable "LIMITED EDITION" DVD to have."