The Purchase Price - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Purchase Price Reviews

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Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
March 31, 2016
Barbara Stanwyck had me from the beginning, as she crooned "Take Me Away" so seductively in the movie's first scene, and she could do no wrong from then on. Those eyes, that voice. She's so beautiful, and so natural as an actor. She plays a nightclub singer who becomes a mail-order bride to a farmer (Jim Gilson) in the middle of nowhere after wanting to get away from city life. It all moves a little too quickly for her as she has a rapid civil ceremony practically after stepping off a long train ride, and that evening she rebuffs her new husband's advances. He's the sensitive sort and can't forget it, even after she comes around and makes it clear she wants to consummate their marriage, talking to him sweetly and sincerely, and later beckoning him with lingerie. The movie is not all that well regarded, but I found it sweet, and Stanwyck captivating.
November 10, 2015
The Purchase Price is an excellent film. It is about a torch singer who becomes a mail-order bride for a farmer. Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent give amazing performances. The screenplay is well written. William A. Wellman did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and humor.
April 4, 2015
another pre-code wellman sr mail rdewr vbride, like my grandma was also.
October 17, 2012
3: I loved it, although it wasn't obvious why this was in the Forbidden Hollywood pre-production code collection. I suppose it's because it dealt with a fallen woman as it were, but the differences between this and films made under the production code is very subtle. It is a rather convoluted and unbelievable story, but it is certainly watchable. Stanwyck carries the film and manages to keep things interesting throughout. It's really just a good fashioned yarn.
½ March 16, 2012
Wellman seems to work in extremes. He either makes a broad, difficult piece of social criticism (HEROES FOR SALE). Or he makes something that does little to challenge the audience. THE PURCHASE PRICE is, unfortunately, the latter of the two.

It does have some moments. The pre-code circumstances encourage some rough violence at times and do allow for a more complicated relationship between Stanwyck and Brent. Brent is one ideal counterpart for Stanwyck's iron will. She always seemed too smart and shrewd to be a real sexpot, but Brent can bend through that and get some genuine feeling out of her. Something by which some much better actors are defeated.

Wellman isn't particularly adept at photographing Stanwyck, although the pictures of her against the expansive farming landscape are Fordian. When not worrying about photographing ladies, the pictures are very clear and beautiful for 1932. The restoration also deserves credit for the wonderful preservation of imagery.

THE PURCHASE PRICE says little and does so with nice pictures. It's always a joy to watch young Stanwyck, especially in her Pre-Code years. You might not learn anything, but you will see one version of love come to life.
½ October 13, 2011
Stanwyck isn't nearly dressing and undressing as much as I have come to expect from her Pre-Code films. My expectations were not met, Barbara, very disappointing. Oh, right, the film, meh. And gah. A bah even. Who in their right mind would want to be a farmer? That's what grocery stores are for.
August 20, 2011
It's not as strong as the other Wellman film on the same disc in the Forbidden Hollywood collection (Other Men's Women). However, Stanwyck is really fine here: charming, sexy, and vulnerable.
Super Reviewer
½ November 27, 2010
This movie is both cute and realistic at times. It's a pretty good movie, and Stanwyck gives a good performance, but the rest of the cast is just okay, this movie could have been better, I think, but it's still pretty good.
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2010
Frank pre-code drama about seen it all dance hall gal who becomes mail order bride to a rough farmer and through many hardships forges a happy life with him.
½ November 12, 2009
Only for Stanwyck fans. Otherwise, skip it.
August 11, 2009
As in a lot of movies from this period the appeal of the leads are what's gonna keep you entertained. Interesting change of scenery in this one. I found it neat to see the rural setting and farm life. Though Stanwyck's character seems to become too accustomed to rural life far too easily and in love with her husband a bit too quickly. Not bad though.
August 9, 2009
The film won't commit to what story it wants to tell, and the one it finally does (saving the farm), is boring as all sin. The husband-wife relationship starts off intriguing enough, but ultimately settles on romantic-comedy cliches done a thousand before and to come.
½ May 27, 2009
Dated and oddly uncomfortable in parts, but carries through on Stanwyck's charisma and some unique Wellman moments. For the pre-code fan this is a curious detour into rural surroundings.
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