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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.
Amazing costumes, but a distinct lack of attention to John Prentice's own philandering is par for the course for Hollywood.
feels like another lost thin man pic but it isn't.
Gotta love Powell & Loy!
William and Myrna to a rare serious path
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
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.
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.
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.
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