For Reel

No More Ladies (1935)
February 1, 2015, 2:04 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Edward H. Griffith
3.5 Stars
No More LadiesThis drawing room comedy about a troubled socialite marriage is nearly indistinguishable from the rest of its genre, but despite its forgettability there are a handful of laughs and good performances. It plays like a sanitized take on The Divorcee, which exposed the double standard in which husbands treat their infidelities as trivial until their wives turn the tables around on them. As the vindictive new bride, Joan Crawford only allows herself a few moments of wallowing before setting her sights on revenge. Donald Ogden Stewart is credited as a co-writer of the screenplay (adapted from a successful Broadway play by Augustus Thomas) and the film plays like a primitive draft of his masterpiece The Philadelphia Story, with a handful of eccentric characters witnessing the shifts of power in a complicated relationship. This being an MGM production, all three of the leads (the reliably charming Franchot Tone plays Montgomery’s eventual competition) are incredibly well-dressed and photographed, with Crawford’s gowns being the highlight. Charles Ruggles, Edna May Oliver, and especially Arthur Treacher, playing a caricatured British socialite who doesn’t understand American slang, each deliver laughs in their supporting roles.

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