Evelyn Prentice Reviews
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
(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
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.
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.