Evelyn Prentice - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Evelyn Prentice Reviews

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½ December 29, 2016
Hokey courtroom melodrama is greatly elevated by a stellar cast led by William Powell and Myrna Loy. Powell plays a high powered lawyer who is defending a friend of the family who is accused of murder, but unbeknownst to Powell the real murderer may actually be his wife, Loy. It's a pretty contrived plot are is hardly credible, but the strong cast, which also includes Una Merkel and Rosalind Russell (in her film debut), make this overall film much better than the script deserved.
December 24, 2016
Amazing costumes, but a distinct lack of attention to John Prentice's own philandering is par for the course for Hollywood.
½ July 16, 2012
Gotta love Powell & Loy!
July 4, 2012
feels like another lost thin man pic but it isn't.
½ December 27, 2011
William and Myrna to a rare serious path
½ February 26, 2011
Interesting film, but only half the way through does it get going. Big lawyer leaves wife alone too much and she gets involved in an affair, or so it seems. The neglected wife of begins a flirtation with another man, who turns out to be a gigolo. After it appears that she shot him when he attempted to blackmail her, another woman is charged with the crime.

I found it hard to watch all of this, but you have to give these old films a chance or you be tempted to stop watching.

Never been a fan of the stuffy Powell, but there is a family scene where they're all on the floor doing excercises. Quite a break to see the stars being more real.

There is extortion from her affair and Loy sees a gun to use on her new found admirer. But someone else gets the blame for a death. Loy, believing she did the killing, persuades Powell to take up the defense of the girl which he does. The stress on Loy, especially culminating in the courtroom, forces new revelations about the crime.

There, you have most of the plot but not the finale. The last 20 minutes full of courtroom drama with a suprise ending.

Writes one viewer:

"The acting helps what has now become a familiar story. Myrna Loy is absolutely gorgeous and sympathetic as a lonely wife resisting the attentions of another man; and you know that Powell, despite his philandering, cares for her deeply. Una Merkel is delightful as Evelyn's friend."

NOTES about the film:

1 * Rosalind Russell in her film debut.

2 The third of fourteen films pairing William Powell and Myrna Loy.

3 Mrs. Blake: Does your husband beat you?
Evelyn Prentice: No, I wish he did.
He'd have to be home to do it. :))


William Powell as John Prentice
Myrna Loy as Evelyn Prentice

Una Merkel as Amy Drexel
Rosalind Russell as Mrs. Nancy Harrison *
Isabel Jewell as Judith Wilson
Harvey Stephens as Lawrence Kennard
Edward Brophy as Eddie Delaney
Henry Wadsworth as Chester Wylie
Cora Sue Collins as Dorothy Prentice
Frank Conroy as District Attorney Farley
Jessie Ralph as Mrs. Blake

Directed by William K. Howard

Produced by John W. Considine, Jr.

Written by W. E. Woodward (novel)

Lenore J. Coffee-Howard Emmett Rogers (uncredited adaptation)

Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) November 9, 1934

Running time 78-80 minutes
½ November 12, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010

(1934) Evelyn Prentice

One of fourteen films William Powell and Myna Loy starred together- a good portion of them are mysteries! The plot has successful laywer husband (Powell)spending most of his time with his work than spending quality time with his wife Evelyn Prentice (Loy) and family! As the film progresses she goes to a nightclub without him and their meets a respectable man who has false intentions is when things gets complicated!

Not as enjoyable as other films the duo had done but the result ended with a satisfying conclusion, even if it has the somewhat of an implausable ending!

Also known as Rosaline Russell's first movie screen debut as the woman Powell successfully defended at the beginning of the picture!

3 out of 4
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2010
Very episodic and overwrought drama with Myrna succumbing to the overacting bug at times and Powell rather stiff. The best performances come from the supporting players, Isabel Jewell as a wronged woman and especially Una Merkel who single handedly saves this from total soap opera with her terrific wisecracking. Rosalind Russell made her film debut here but is wasted as a devious society harlot. The ending is too precious for words.
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2010
Powell and Loy deserve a better movie than this. This drama is predictable and at times boring. I've never been bored by these actors before seeing this movie.
½ July 16, 2010
If you see a movie starring Powell and Loy you expect some witty humor, but this is a melodrama with no trace of humor, and I found it pretty boring for the most part. I was disappointed by the ending too. I don't mean that the acting was bad, of course Powell and Loy give great performances, and the story is somewhat exciting. I would really only recommend this movie if you're a fan of melodrama.
½ May 10, 2009
They cast the greatest screen couple ever and then rarely have them on screen together.
William Powell is a brilliant but rather dull lawyer who works all the time.
Myrna Loy is a sulky woman who waits for him to come home.
The film has very little music and atmosphere and plods along disappointingly for a Powell-Loy film.
½ March 23, 2009
A nice film, enjoyable. Loy and Powell great as usual. Not the fast paced wittiness we've come to know and love but a solid film which was good but not great.
December 17, 2008
I like this one much better than Manhattan Melodrama. Really, Loy is fantastic at drama and Powell almost as good. Gorgeous outfits as well, if you go in for this stuff.
½ December 7, 2008
When I discovered that this movie was a William Powell/Myrna Loy picture, I made the not-unreasonable assumption that it was a comedy. After all, that's what I've seen them in, over and over. To be fair, I'm pretty sure [i]Manhattan Melodrama[/i] isn't, but I've never seen it, so what do I know? Indeed, it was on those terms that I convinced Graham that we should watch it. It's a William Powell/Myrna Loy movie, I said. It should be funny. Oops. Well, I've made greater errors in judgement; there's at least one William Powell/Myrna Loy movie, as I recall, that we just turned off. It was supposed to be a comedy, but neither of us found it very funny.

Powell plays John Prentice, wealthy defense attorney. Not unlike Billy Flynn in [i]Chicago[/i], he seems to make a practice of getting beautiful women off murder charges. When we first see him, he is defending a young Rosalind Russell from a vehicular manslaughter charge. She decides that he must love her, so she pursues him pretty aggressively. Evelyn Prentice, John's wife (Loy), finds out. She is being wooed by Larry Kenard (Harry Stephens), who wants the power over "an influential man's wife" to get backing for his new play. He blackmails Evelyn with some letters that she sent him, and she shoots him. Kenard's girlfriend, Judith Wilson (Isabel Jewell) gets arrested for the crime, and Evelyn must decide if she's going to turn herself in and save Wilson's life.

Most of the people in this movie behave in the most ridiculous ways. Evelyn was pretty stupid to let herself get trapped by the lothario Kenard. John was pretty stupid to let Nancy Harrison (Russell) get her hooks into him and make it look as though they were involved. (Unto having a bracelet engraved and "accidentally" leaving it in the train car where she "happened" to encounter him on the way to Boston.) Kenard was pretty stupid to let things build a situation where somebody would be that angry at him--and to actually open a drawer with a gun in it while he was at it. Only Dorothy Prentice (Cora Sue Collins, a child actress with an impressive career) seems to have gotten out of the thing without ever seeming to be letting herself in for more trouble than she ought.

Loy and Powell were fairly big stars for MGM in those days, and the effort made to make their picture a good one shows. The filming is of fine quality, and the costumes--while kind of silly in places--are all appropriate to the characters who wear them. The Prentices are shown to be easy with one another and kind to their servants. Their relationship with Dorothy is good; she takes her parents' affection for one another for granted. She also takes it for granted that she will be on the Europe trip as well. Evelyn has a good friend in Amy Drexel (Una Merkel), who is also well-costumed. The secondary performers are still talented; no one feels clunky and out of place here. There are people we don't like, but even Kenard is charming at first.

This is an early example of the Dramatic Courthouse Scene, though I intend to give as little away as possible about that. We know that Evelyn is slowly cracking under the pressure, though, and we know that something is going to give way. Will she confess to her husband? Will she confess to the DA? Will she just blithely run off to Europe and confess to no one? It is a delight to guess, and the answer doesn't disappoint.
½ October 17, 2008
I loved this film, though it was hard to watch at times. What is justice? What is love? What is right? Will these people stay honorable to eachother?
August 5, 2008
Entertaining melodrama that does not outstay its welcome, even if Powell is not ideally suited to conveying anguish -- though Loy does a fine job with her hand-to-brow role. Features (a bit pointlessly) the fine talents of Una Merkel. The preview is priceless: they had no idea how to market it, so they marketed it as a screwball-comedy/mystery/sexual-sleaze/domestic-tragedy movie. No cowboys.
June 29, 2008
This might be Myrna's best dramatic performance.
½ April 12, 2008
Myrna Loy seems like the woman every American man wants to be married to, which makes Powell the man everyone else envies over and over again. They certainly make a good on-screen couple and this film is no exception, although of course there are better examples of their chemistry. I canā??t help but think that Russell is speaking a little too slowly and acting a little too seriously though. Iā??ll always picture her in more of a screwball role than as a femme fatale-type. I canā??t help but imagine how horrible the suits, dresses, and mink coats must stink of cigarette smoke in classic Hollywood pictures. It must be awful. Loy and Powell often play the same role over and over again, but they keep it interesting each and every time. They are consummate and everlasting movie stars. This particular story is not quite up to snuff though. The outburst in the courtroom by Evelyn Prentice is a bit over the top and unbelievable, especially since it sounds like they swore in an additional witness in the middle of the closing arguments. Powell also switches sides mid-trial and badgers his own client into confessing to the murder. This is too ridiculous and ultimately makes the film a failure, but a failure of the writer rather than the actors and director. Itā??s interesting to see Powell try to explain away and justify murder after seeing him essentially take the opposite stance and hold the moral high ground in Manhattan Melodrama. Iā??d have to compare the performances more closely in order to determine which he makes more believable.
April 6, 2008
My favorite screen couple. The script seems to come off as a lesser relative of Manahttan Melodrama. Not how the movie would be made today. There would be actual affairs rather than just the appearance of them.
Super Reviewer
½ October 11, 2007
Powell plays a negligent workaholic attorney who drives his wife Loy into the arms of a parasitic gigolo, who incidentally winds up dead. Although without just about any comic traces, Evelyn Prentice is good for what it is--a somewhat hammy 30s melodrama with a hint of suspense. Definitely not the Thin Man but nothing to complain (too much) about either. As always Powell and Loy are great together.
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