For Reel

Blind Date (1934)
March 10, 2015, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Roy William Neill
3 Stars
Blind DateBlind Date is a rare early showcase for star Ann Sothern, who would find her talents squandered at Columbia and RKO before heading to MGM and achieving success with the Maisie series. Here, she plays a switchboard operator who is torn between two men: an automechanic (Paul Kelly) and the wealthy heir of a department store (Neil Hamilton). A woman torn between the lifestyles of frugality and luxury is well-tread ground, and by the end of Blind Date one isn’t totally convinced that she’s made the right decision. Sothern, as in the Maisie films, is an interesting anomaly in terms of class–she’s too sophisticated and well-dressed to fit in with the working class, and too blunt and sardonic to effectively navigate a life of mannered opulence. She looks as beautiful as ever thanks to the elegant cinematography by Allen G. Siegler, whose romantic, gauzy renderings of the scenes involving Hamilton provide a nice contrast to the harshly lit scenes at Sothern’s impoverished home. Kelly’s performance is initially grating, but gradually earns more and more of the audience’s affection as the film wears on. It’s clear that he truly loves Sothern and that, in many ways, he seems to be the better fit.

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